Coming off a strong 2019, experts are forecasting increased growth for the solar sector. The Solar Energy Industries Association recently released a report where they projected that 20% of the U.S electricity generation will be from solar energy by 2030.
With current solar generation clocking in around 2% in 2019, that projection of blistering growth should produce tremendous excitement for the solar industry.
Here are a few reasons why energy experts are forecasting exponential gains in the solar sector.
As the technologies improve and prices are reduced, the capture, generation, and storage of renewable energy will continue to provide economic growth. While still in their relative infancy compared to coal and natural gas, renewable energy is already more cost-effective than these non-renewable energy sources. The two sources of clean energy that are spearheading the economic opportunity are wind and solar energy, where fast-falling prices provide a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels.
As those two sectors continue to ramp up, the construction of new plants with lead to the creations of tens of thousands of jobs and potentially hundreds of billions in revenue. By 2030 the solar industry itself could employ more people than every U.S. company except Walmart while driving $345B into the U.S. economy.
One of the larger challenges that the solar industry has faced is developing larger storage capacity after the energy is generated. The batteries in which the energy is stored have come a long way in recent years. They are still not commonplace, but solar batteries are able to store excess energy for later use, enabling them to provide power to homes and smaller commercial buildings.
The next step in solar expansion is to have an infrastructure set up for electric utilities and grid managers to be able to provide solar-derived power consistently and reliably. Experts are confident that as larger solar farms and batteries are tethered to the power grid, that solar-derived consumption will continue to rise.
Solar Investment Tax Credit
A large contributor to the increased demand for solar energy has been the tax incentives of the federal solar tax credit. This credit allowed solar energy users to deduct up to 30% of the costs of installing their solar energy system. This benefit, in addition to the long-term savings of relying on a renewable energy source, made the switch to solar sound financial investment.
The future of this tax credit is cloudy, however. The tax credit will be lowered to 22% in 2021, and is set to expire in 2022. While many solar experts are confident that the credit will be renewed, it’s a forecast that is more difficult to read, especially with an upcoming election.
Coal Plant Retirements
In 2019, coal generation fell to its lowest level since 1978, generating only 18% of the countries electricity. With cleaner, cheaper alternative available, this is a trend that will continue and lead to more coal plant retirements.
Since 2010, there have been 300 announced coal plant retirements, representing a 50% reduction. As these plants continue to shutter, solar plants and other clean energy plants will take their place.
While it’s not falling at the rate of coal, natural gas is also in steep decline. Natural gas is the largest source of carbon pollution, making it an obvious target for replacement. As America wanes itself off of natural gas to preserve the environment, solar energy stands to benefit.
Anistar Solar Staffing Solutions
At Anistar Technologies, we proudly serve the solar industry with the top-tier talent they need to meet their increased demand. When you need experienced solar professionals, give us a call.