Solar energy could grow 3% through 2035, and become 40% of the United State’s electricity supply, said the Biden administration through a memorandum from the Department of Energy; this scenario would be achievable if the Congress adopts policies like tax credits for renewable energy projects and component factories.
Firstly, the DOE memo, called Investing in the Clean Energy Future: Solar Energy, Research, Deployment, and Workforce Priorities; details the immense growth opportunities that exist in the solar energy industry.
Secondly, according to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory cited in the memo; to achieve such scale, the U.S. solar energy industry would need to grow at three or four times its current rate; which would in turn create up to 1.5 million jobs.
Thirdly, the memo also remarks that solar is already the fastest-growing source of new electricity generation in the nation; growing nearly 4,000% in just over a decade. From about 2.5 gigawatts (GWdc) of solar capacity in 2010, to over 100 GWdc today.
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Solar energy will have extended tax credits
However, “realizing this potential for solar generation requires historic investments to accelerate deployment of residential; also, commercial, and utility-scale solar systems, including in disadvantaged and low-income communities.” Said the White House Fact Sheet.
Consequently, the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill that the Biden administration is pushing, will serve as a catalyst for green job creation, and as a platform for the needed growth. Some of the proposed investments are: an extension of $300 billion in tax cuts for clean electricity; including solar, to make it cheaper to build; and also, funding for new transmission and energy storage infrastructure.
In addition, Gina McCarthy, White House climate advisor, said in an interview. “It really is the clean energy tax credits that are going to be drivers for production; and for the manufacturing sector as well.”
Finally, the White House remarked about tax credit extension. “Extending the tax cuts for both utility and residential renewable energy project can help lower the upfront costs of new projects; and also, accelerate deployment so that everyone can benefit from the economies of scale. Lower costs overall can put downward pressure on utility energy costs for ratepayers; and make solar more affordable for more families while reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their energy use.”