Solar energy is now in the center stage of the United States’ plans for a decarbonized economy, representing 70% of high-probability utility-scale power capacity planned through 2025.

Solar energy is now in the center stage of the United States’ plans for a decarbonized economy, representing 70% of high-probability utility-scale power capacity planned through 2025.  

Solar’s rise to the top as a key energy resource now seems inevitable, but its fate was not always sealed. The technology contributed a negligible amount of power less than ten years ago, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) did not begin reporting annual net generation of PV until 2014. In that year, solar contributed 27 TWh of electricity to the U.S. grid. Seven short years later, it generated 164 TWh in 2021, multiplying generation six times over. 

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Source: PV Magazine

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Solar power capacity in the US has grown from just 0.34 GW in 2008 to an estimated 97.2G W today, providing enough energy to 18 million homes.

The U.S. has plans to expand its solar energy market exponentially in support of its optimistic climate change policies. The country has already established several widescale solar projects, and with the introduction of the recent Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), renewable energy companies are being provided with the funding and tax cuts needed to encourage more rapid expansion of a variety of green energy projects. With a massive solar pipeline over the next few years, the U.S. will soon become a regional solar power hub.

The solar power capacity in the U.S. has grown from just 0.34 GW in 2008 to an estimated 97.2 gigawatts (GW) today, providing enough energy to power 18 million homes. However, at present, just 3 percent of the country’s electricity comes from solar photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), demonstrating the potential to expand the industry much further.

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Source: Oil Price

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Utility-scale solar and wind each added more generating capacity than natural gas during the first nine months of 2022

Utility-scale solar and wind each added more generating capacity than natural gas during the first nine months of 2022, according to a SUN DAY Campaign review of FERC data. FERC’s latest three-year forecast suggests that installed natural gas capacity will begin to decline by 2025 while solar and wind continue to rapidly expand.

Solar (6,751 MW) and wind (6,328 MW) each provided more new generating capacity during the first three-quarters of this year than did natural gas (6,086 MW). Combined with capacity additions by geothermal (90 MW), biomass (22 MW) and hydropower (14 MW), renewable energy sources accounted for 13,205 MW or 68.4% of the 19,316 MW of new generation put into service this year.

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Source: Solar Power World

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The study found about 1/3 of Golden State households that installed rooftop solar in 2021 were solidly working- and middle-class families.

Middle-income and working-class Californians represented by far the largest block of the million-plus households in the state that installed rooftop solar in 2021, according to a new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study.

The study shows how essential California’s subsidies for rooftop solar are in helping deploy the clean, renewable power source across the state. Solar not only cuts rates for consumers suffering from astronomical bills caused by California’s monopoly utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric, but it also helps to fight the climate crisis.

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Source: ewg

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The off-grid solar sector has shown resilience in the face of pandemic-related challenges, with 70 million people gaining access to electricity from early 2020 to the end of 2021.

Despite the pressure the pandemic has placed on supply chains and income levels, the number of people who source electricity from solar energy kits has continued to grow and has now reached 490 million.

According to the “Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2022: State of The Sector” report – published by the World Bank’s Lighting Global, International Finance Corp. (IFC), GOGLA, Efficiency for Access Coalition, and Open Capital Advisors – the number of people who use solar energy kits had grown by 70 million by the end of 2021, up from 420 million in 2019.

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Source: PV Magazine

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The record 99.4 TW hours the EU generated in solar electricity this summer meant it didn’t need to buy 20 billion cubic metres of fossil gas.

Solar power is helping Europe navigate an energy crisis of “unprecedented proportions” and save billions of euros in avoided gas imports, a new report finds.

Record solar power generation in the European Union this summer helped the 27-country grouping save around $29 billion in fossil gas imports, according to Ember, an energy think tank.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine severely threatening gas supplies to Europe, and both gas and electricity prices at record highs, the figures show the critical importance of solar power as part of Europe’s energy mix, the organization says.

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Source: World Economic Forum

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Africa leads the way in terms of the average potential of solar energy around the world, finds Statista.

Figures from the Global Solar Atlas for The World Bank, as analyzed by Statista, reveal the average potential of solar energy around the world and as this infographic shows, Africa is out in front. When combining the average long-term practical yield of a utility scale solar energy installation in each country, Africa’s 4.51 kWh/kWp/day is ahead of second-placed Central & South America’s 4.48, while North America is further behind on 4.37.

The assessments “exclude areas due to physical/technical constraints, such as rugged terrain, presence of urbanized/industrial areas, forests, and areas that are too distant from the centers of human activity”, but do not consider “soft constraints, i.e., areas that might be unsuitable due to regulations imposed by national or regional authorities (such as conservation of cropland or nature conservation)”.

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Source: World Economic Forum

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The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 extended that tax credit for the decade to come, and we can expect solid continued growth again.

The U.S. solar energy industry has grown tremendously in the past decade. That growth has actually been one of the most phenomenal economic growth stories across the whole U.S. economy. However, the “Covid Era” hit solar hard, and it has struggled to get back on the trajectory it was on.

The latest industry-wide data we have from the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie show a near leveling off of growth. (Note that all of the following data and analysis from these parties comes from before the passing or even introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.)

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Source: Clean Technica

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2021 was a “breakout year” for photovoltaics combined with storage projects, which accounted for 67 of the 74 hybrid projects added in the US

Driven by falling battery prices and the growth of variable renewable generation, hybrid and co-located energy projects — mainly solar combined with battery storage — are surging across the United States.

There were 298 hybrid projects in the United States totaling 35.9 GW of generating capacity with 3.2 GW/8.1 GWh of storage by the end of last year, according to the report. Nearly half the projects were solar with storage with the rest a mixture of wind, fossil-fuel generation, nuclear generation and other resources in various configurations.

Some 74 hybrid projects started operating last year, up 32% from 2020 and totaling 6.1 GW, a 21% increase from the previous year, according to the report, which covers projects larger than 1 MW. Many of the projects involved adding batteries to existing generating facilities in California and Florida, the researchers said.

Also, there were 70% more hybrid plants in interconnection queues at the end of last year compared to 2020, the LBNL researchers said.

 

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Source: Utility Dive

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In California, batteries now contribute 60 times more to peak capacity than they did in 2017.

On Tuesday, the UK Met Office recorded the country’s first-ever temperature above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) at London’s Heathrow Airport just before 1 p.m., as temperatures were still rising. High demand sent power prices in the UK up 5% in one day.

Across the Channel, things have been even more volatile. Europe’s heat wave has reduced France’s available nuclear power, as the river water used to cool nuclear plants became too hot to be effective. As a result, day-ahead baseload power prices settled at 610 euros per megawatt-hour — about 10 times higher than prices from 2017 to 2021.

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Source: Bloomberg

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