The Solar Power Surge: How Many Solar Companies In The US?

Written by The Valve+Meter Team / January 3, 2024 / 6 Minute Read
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The U.S. solar industry thrives with a dynamic array of companies, from startups to giants, reflecting innovation and growth opportunities. It’s driven by demand for renewable energy, technological advancements, and supportive policies, with both residential and corporate sectors increasingly adopting solar solutions. Innovations in solar panel technology and the growing utility-scale market indicate a robust future. Despite challenges like supply chain issues, the industry faces bright prospects with declining costs and new technologies enhancing solar’s appeal and efficiency.

Solar

Key Takeaways

  • Growing Sector: The US solar industry boasts diverse companies, reflecting innovation and growth amid rising demand for renewable energy.
  • Driving Factors: Escalating global demand, technological advancements, and supportive policies fuel the solar industry’s expansion and declining costs.
  • Technological Advancements: Technological breakthroughs, including improvements in solar panel efficiency and energy storage solutions, propel industry growth.
  • Market Opportunities: The thriving residential solar market presents opportunities for businesses, with increasing solar capacity across all states.
  • Strategic Marketing: Valve+Meter offers data-driven marketing strategies for clean energy businesses, aiming to enhance solar capacity and drive revenue.

The Scope of Solar Companies in the United States

The solar industry in the United States has experienced dynamic growth over the last decade. From the utility-scale solar market to solar panel installation in the residential market, renewable energy is flourishing.

Marked by a rich tapestry of companies ranging from nimble startups to established industry giants, there is massive growth as the demand for clean energy has hit a fever pitch.

According to IBIS World, the number of solar businesses in the US has grown 22.8% per year on average over the five years between 2018 – 2023. The growth of solar now employs over 263,000 Americans.

These businesses include solar panel manufacturers, research and development companies, and solar installation, maintenance, and repair businesses.

While China continues to dominate the US in terms of market share of solar panel manufacturing, public policy and public interest in reducing carbon emissions has turned solar into an economic engine.

With more than 4.5 million solar installations, the U.S. solar market is poised for further expansion.

U.S. Solar Companies 22.8%
The number of solar businesses in the US has grown 22.8% per year on average over the five years between 2018 - 2023.
Solar Workers 263K
Solar now employs over 263,000 Americans.

What Are The Driving Forces Behind the Growth of the Solar Industry?

The expansion of the solar industry in the United States is fueled by a powerful combination of factors, each playing a pivotal role in its upward trajectory.

Central to this growth is the escalating global demand for renewable energy, driven by heightened awareness of environmental concerns and a collective push toward sustainability. Innovations in solar manufacturing and deep investments both by governments and private developers lead to falling prices. The costs of solar have fallen by 70% since 2010.

As prices declined, technological advancements in solar panel efficiency and energy storage solutions have also propelled the industry forward. Lithium-ion battery pack prices fell 88% between 2010 and 2021. Breakthroughs in energy density and battery management greatly benefitted the average annual growth rate of solar during the same period.

Rooftop solar is increasingly paired with battery management systems. These systems can provide enough electricity to power some homes, off-site structures, and commercial applications.

Additionally, utility-scale markets emerged in certain states. Photovoltaic (PV) systems including the Solar Star PV power station, Topaz Solar Farm, and Desert Sunlight Solar Farm have capacities of more than 550 megawatts. (Energy.gov).

The Inflation Reduction Act in particular has provided a significant boost to both emerging commercial markets, residential solar, and U.S. solar panel manufacturing. Government incentives encourage both businesses and consumers to adopt solar solutions and help reach climate goals.

There is a clear drive to increase generating capacity rapidly and ensure long-term certainty of renewable energy to address climate change.

Reduced Costs 70%
The costs of solar have fallen by 70% since 2010.
Lower Cost Solar Storage 88%
Lithium-ion battery pack prices fell 88% between 2010 and 2021.
Solar Capacity In US 30.0 GW
Developers plan to boost solar capacity to 30.0 GW by the end of 2025.

How Big Is The Solar Industry In The US?

The total market size of solar was estimated at $29.68 billion in 2022, but the cumulative deployment of corporate solar, the utility-scale segment, community solar, and residential solar projects is expected to scale rapidly.

Solar accounted for 45% of all new capacity introduced to the U.S. electrical grid in the first half of 2023. Developers plan to boost utility-scale from under 10.0 GW in 2022 to 30.0 GW by the end of 2025.

So the better question may be: how big will the solar industry become?

The answer will rely on many factors including supply challenges, domestic solar panel manufacturing, and the innovations of solar panel installation companies.

How Many Solar Panel Manufacturers in the US?

There are more than a dozen solar panel manufacturers in the United States.

Leading solar panel installation companies still rely heavily on panels made in China, but corporate solar users like Microsoft are partnering with domestic manufacturers. More facilities are being built to secure the supply chain and increase the market share of solar panel manufacturing.

Solar Companies 11,091
An estimated 11,091 solar companies are operating in the United States. (IBIS World)
Residential Solar Panel Installation 14.4%
Residential solar panel installation is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% from 2024 to 2030.

How many solar EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) companies are there in the US?

The U.S. is home to a substantial number of solar EPC companies, a figure that is continually rising as the market expands. These companies play a crucial role in the development of solar projects, overseeing the engineering, procurement, and construction phases, and ensuring the successful completion and operation of solar panel installation.

As of January 2024, IBIS World estimates that 11,091 solar panel installation companies are operating in the United States. With a secure supply chain backed by tax incentives, this number will rise as both the commercial and residential market continues to grow. The impact of the Inflation Reduction Act on just residential solar panel installation is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% from 2024 to 2030.

The diverse ecosystem of solar EPC is a testament to the sector’s vibrancy and its capacity for innovation and growth. In this landscape, the number of solar companies operating within the U.S. is not just a statistic; it’s a reflection of a dynamic and evolving market brimming with opportunities.

What Is The Forecast For Solar Systems In The US?

For small business owners looking to venture into renewable energy, the solar industry presents a fertile ground for exploration and investment.

The residential solar market is thriving. It isn’t just well-known sunny states like California and Texas. Solar capacity is growing across every state.

The array of companies operating in this space illustrates a robust and competitive environment, signaling a healthy market ripe for new ideas and business growth. Although there are industry giants like SunRun and Tesla (SolarCity), there is ample opportunity for competition in the residential solar market.

The solar PV growth forecast is exciting for many businesses looking to diversify and grow. Buoyed by ongoing technological innovations and favorable government policies. This growth is expected to open up new markets and foster the development of cutting-edge technologies in the solar sector. The future landscape of solar energy is likely to be characterized by increased adoption, improved efficiency, and a greater contribution to the global energy mix, signaling a bright and dynamic future for solar PV.

Solar Energy Marketing

At Valve+Meter, our team develops go-to-market strategies, consults with solar businesses, and executes complete marketing strategies. From solar panel installation contractors to manufacturers, our team collaborates with businesses driven to increase the installed solar capacity in the US.

Our data-driven strategies include digital marketing that drives revenue through measurable marketing. If you are in the clean energy industry and looking for smarter, more agile, and scalable marketing strategies, connect with our strategists for a free consultation.

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