IS THERE A SOLAR ENERGY ROADMAP FOR THE U.S.?
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released a roadmap in December 2021 for building the solar economy. The goal of the roadmap is to establish how to move the solar industry from 3.7% of the U.S. electricity generation to 30% generation by 2030, with the end result of full decarbonization by 2035.
DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the Solar Futures Study on September 2021. The purpose of the study was to explore solar energy’s role in transitioning to a carbon-free electric grid. With aggressive policies, solar could account for up to 40% of the nation’s electricity supply by 2035 and 45% by 2050. To achieve this, solar will need to grow by an average of 30 gigawatts alternating current each year up to 2025 and ramp up to 60 GW per year from 2025-2030. By 2050, solar capacity would need to reach 1,600 GW to achieve a zero-carbon grid with enhanced electrification of end uses.
In addition, the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has released a Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) for fiscal years 2021 through 2025. SETO focuses on solar energy technology that uses sunlight to produce electricity using photovoltaic (PV) or concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies. SETO’s priorities include advancing solar technology’s ability to provide low-cost and reliable electricity, rapid deployment, and energy beyond electricity.
Updated by Erin Bennett, June 2022
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