US solar energy boom ‘stuck’ as industry confronts obstacles

A US solar power boom is at risk of stalling just as the country needs a surge in clean energy projects to meet its goals to strip carbon from electricity supplies.

Strong demand from utilities, corporate buyers and some states is colliding with cost inflation and supply congestion, weighing on an industry that has been poised for another record year of growth in 2022.

The government’s independent energy forecaster this month published a rosy outlook for the sector, predicting the US would add 21.5 gigawatts of large, “utility-scale” solar generating capacity this year, nearly half the nation’s total and more than last year’s record 15.5GW.

But some forecasters have been slashing their outlooks and warning of project delays and potential cancellations.

Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, recently cut its growth forecast for utility-scale projects in 2022 by a third. It now expects total installations, which also include rooftop and…

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