Department of Energy | The sun can provide 45% of America’s electricity by 2050

(New York) Solar power could provide 45% of U.S. electricity by 2050 under certain conditions, up from around 3% in 2020, a report by the Biden government said Wednesday.

Posted on Sep 8, 2021 at 12:26 pm

To achieve this goal, however, “significant cost reductions, government support and large-scale electrification” of solar energy are required, says the US Department of Energy.

In 2020, photovoltaic modules and solar thermal power plants in the US produced just under 80 gigawatts (GW), enough to meet about 3% of the country’s electricity needs.

BRIDGET BENNET PHOTO, REUTERS ARCHIVES

Solar panels at the Desert Stateline Power Plant near Nipton, California on August 16, 2021.

The use of solar energy would have to increase on average from 15 GW in 2020 to 30 GW per year by 2025 and then to 60 GW per year between 2025 and 2030 in order to achieve the ambitions outlined in the report.

The government of President Joe Biden, which has made the fight against climate change one of its priorities, is relying on the extensive infrastructure investment plans that are still being discussed in Congress.

The study highlights the fact that solar energy, our cheapest and fastest growing clean energy source, could produce enough electricity by 2035 to power every home in the United States while employing up to 1.5 million people.

Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm in a statement.

PHOTO MARY ALTAFFER, ARCHIVED PRESS

Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm in a statement.

According to the scenario developed by his services, solar energy would account for 37% of electricity in 2035, the remainder from wind energy (36%), nuclear energy (from 11% to 13%), hydropower (from 5 to 6%), biomass and geothermal energy (1%).

This would be a major tipping point compared to the current pattern: in 2020, renewables provided 21% of electricity in the United States, with the remainder being generated by natural gas (40%), nuclear (20%), and coal (19%). ).

In a letter to politicians, almost 750 solar energy companies insisted on the need to expand existing subsidy measures and implement them in the long term.

The quadrupling of the current installation rate by 2030 is a “race against time”, they say and in particular call for a strengthening of the current tax credit for investments in solar energy.

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