U.S. shipments of solar photovoltaic modules jumped 32% to a record electric generating capacity of 28.8 million peak kW last year, from 21.8 million peak kW in 2020, reflecting strong demand, the Energy Information Administration said Thursday.
The shipments include imports, exports and domestically produced and shipped panels, the EIA said, noting that about 80% of the shipments were imports, mainly from Asia.
Solar panel shipments closely track domestic solar capacity additions, the EIA noted.
U.S. utility-scale solar additions last year surged 25% to a record 13.2 GW from 10.6 GW in 2020, despite project delays, supply chain constraints and volatile pricing, the agency said.
Small-scale U.S. solar additions increased 23% to 5.4 GW last year, up from 4.4 GW in 2020, according to the EIA. Residential installations soared 34% last year to 3.9 GW from 2.9 GW in 2020, the agency reported.
The average value of solar panel shipments — a proxy for price — fell 11% in 2021 to $0.34 per peak kW from the year before, despite supply chain constraints and higher material costs, the EIA said. The average value of shipments is down from $1.96 per peak kW in 2010.
The top destination states for panel shipments last year were: California (5.09 million peak kW); Texas (4.31 million peak kW); Florida (1.80 million peak kW); Georgia (1.15 million peak kW); and, Illinois (1.12 million peak kW), according to the agency.
Those states accounted for 46% of all U.S. shipments, the EIA said.