Renewables: solar power generation in the U.S. 2000-2019

In 2019, net solar power generation in the United States reached its highest point yet at 72.2 terawatt hours of solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) power. Solar power generation has increased drastically over the past two decades, especially since 2011, when net generation hovered just below 2 terawatt hours.

Where is solar power used?

In the United States, an exceptionally high number of solar-related jobs are based in California. Home to Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Edison -- two of the largest solar energy utilities in terms of annual capacity -- the state has long been a forerunner in solar technology. Outside of California, the majority of leading American solar power utilities are located in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina.

Clean Energy in the U.S.

In recent years, solar power generation has seen more rapid growth than wind power in the United States. However, among renewables used for electricity, wind has been a more common and substantial source than solar for the past decade. Conventional hydropower remains the most frequently used sources of renewable electricity, however, there are major environmental costs often associated with the construction and operation of large hydropower facilities.

Solar power net generation in the United States from 2000 to 2019 (in million kilowatt hours)*

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

2000 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) energy.

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