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Top Solar Energy Facts and Statistics (2023)

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Solar energy has become increasingly popular in American households, particularly within the last decade. Residential solar power appears to continue to be on the rise. A 2022 survey from EcoWatch indicates that 1 in 4 U.S. homeowners plan to install solar by 2028.

Leading Solar Energy Facts

We’ve gathered key facts and statistics on solar energy, solar panels, and solar tax incentives to round out an understanding of the solar industry.

  • In 2022, 700,000 American homeowners installed solar panels.¹
  • Solar energy made up 50% of the new electricity-generating capacity in the U.S. in 2022.¹
  • The residential home market for solar panels (also known as photovoltaic modules) grew 40% from 2021 to 2022.¹
  • Six percent of single-family, owner-occupied homes in the U.S. had solar panels installed as of December 2022.¹
  • While the residential solar panel market grew in 2022 compared to 2021, the commercial solar market decreased by 6% year over year.¹
  • Per watt installed, a residential solar installation is almost two times as expensive as a commercial solar installation as of 2022.¹
  • As of the end of 2022, the cost to install solar panels on a home averaged $3.30 per watt.¹
  • California had the highest number of solar panel installations by megawatts in the United States in 2022.¹
  • In 2021, Texas exceeded California in solar panel installations by megawatt but fell to No. 2 in 2022.¹
  • After California and Texas, the remaining top five states for solar installations in 2022 were Florida, New York, and Nevada.¹
  • Alabama ranked last among all states in the U.S. for solar installations in 2022.¹
  • Tennessee saw the largest increase in solar panel installations from 2021 to 2022, moving from No. 44 to No. 11 for state solar installations.¹
  • New York has the largest number of community solar installations, according to 2022 data.¹
  • Thirty-nine percent of U.S. homeowners report having “given serious thought” to installing solar panels as of early 2023.²
  • In 2022, solar made up 3.4% of U.S. electricity generation.³
  • Solar energy was the third leading renewable source of U.S. electricity generation in 2022, behind wind and hydropower.³
  • Fossil fuels account for more than 60% of electricity generation in the United States as of 2022.³
  • China is the leading country for solar energy consumption, with more than double the consumption as the second leading country (United States), according to 2021 data.
  • The U.S. used about 16% of the world’s total solar consumption in 2021, second only to China (31.7%) when comparing solar consumption by country.
  • The average cost of solar per kilowatt installed was $857 as of 2021.
  • In 2021, the cost per kilowatt of installing solar panels decreased by 79% from 2011.

Solar Panel Industry Insights and Trends

The solar energy industry is growing both nationally and globally. And with many U.S. states having renewable portfolio standards (RPS) goals to hit by 2025, 2030, and up to 2050, we can anticipate further expansion.

  • The solar energy market is expected to grow an average of 15.7% a year from 2022 to 2030.
  • As of 2022, 25 U.S. states have installed at least 1 gigawatt of solar energy. In 2012, there were only three.
  • The solar industry employed more than 255,000 Americans as of 2021.
  • The solar energy industry contributed nearly $33 billion in private investment into the U.S. economy in 2021.
  • The solar industry installed 5.9 gigawatts of residential solar energy in 2022, a 40% increase from 2021.
  • There are more than 10,000 solar energy companies in the U.S. as of 2021.

Solar Energy Incentives

Federal and state governments have created numerous incentives and tax credits for residential and commercial adoption of solar energy. Depending on which state a homeowner lives in, “going solar” can be a very enticing choice. Here are some recent statistics about solar energy incentives in the United States.

  • An average of 3.3 million new roofs (new build or replacement) are expected to be installed across America annually through 2030, creating the potential for 30 gigawatts of solar panels to be installed on homes each year, according to a 2018 study.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 increased the federal solar tax credit for homeowners.
  • From 2022 to 2032, homeowners can claim a federal solar tax credit worth 30% of their installed residential solar panel system.
  • In 2033, the tax credit from the federal government will decrease to 26%, and in 2034 to 22%.
  • No maximum amount can be claimed with the solar tax credit from the federal government, according to 2023 data.

Our Conclusion

The popularity of solar as a renewable residential energy source continues its upward trajectory. While most U.S. homes do not currently use solar energy, data shows that more homeowners will install solar panels in the coming years. With federal and state solar energy incentives available for homeowners nationwide, it’s worth exploring solar panel options in your community.


  1. “Solar Market Insight Report 2022 Year in Review.” Solar Energy Industries Association. March 9, 2023.
  2. “Americans Largely Favor U.S. Taking Steps To Become Carbon Neutral by 2050.” Pew Research Center. March 1, 2023.
  3. “What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?” U.S. Energy Information Administration. March 2, 2023. 
  4. “Global share of solar consumption 2021, by country.” Statista. June 2022.
  5. “Global solar PV installed cost 2010-2021.” Statista. July 2022.
  6. “Solar Energy Systems Market Size, Share Report 2022-2030.” Grand View Research, Inc.
  7. “Solar Industry Research Data.” Solar Energy Industries Association®.
  8. “Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential Solar Photovoltaics (PV), 2017–2030.” National Renewable Energy Library (NREL). January 2018.
  9. “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” U.S. Department of Energy. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. March 2023.

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