As a percentage of total capacity, solar increased from 18 percent in 2015 to 30 percent in 2016. Note that the data includes actual additions through October with the last two months of the year based on planned additions. Of the 2016 renewable additions, nearly 60 percent were scheduled to come online during the fourth quarter. Renewable capacity additions are often highest in the final months of the year, primarily due to the timing qualifications for federal, state, or local tax incentives.
Despite significant growth in solar installations in the last 10 years, solar still only represents ~1.5 percent of electricity in the U.S. For more information related to current solar penetration rates by state, read our Solar Penetration By State recap.
2016 Solar Capacity Additions By State
California accounted for over 36 percent of new solar capacity in the U.S. in 2016 with 2,749 MWs, and in total the top 10 states accounted for over 90 percent. North Carolina remain second behind California in 2016 with 708 MWs. The charts below provide the details for the top 10 and all states.
2016 Solar Capacity By State