Despite all of the curveballs thrown its way, the solar industry achieved tremendous success over the last decade, experiencing an average annual growth rate of 50%. In 2010, the solar industry accounted for only .01% of total electricity generation across the country. Today, solar energy represents roughly 2.5% of electricity generation in the U.S. and is increasing at an unprecedented rate thanks to plummeting costs and consumer demand for more clean energy. At the same time, the cost and accessibility of energy storage is following the same trajectory that solar once traveled — quickly moving from a “nascent stage” technology to a mature and viable industry that will help cement solar energy even further into the nation’s energy mix.
With this growth and progress in mind, the question remains: How much solar and storage can we expect to install in the coming decade? The national trade organization for the solar industry has set an ambitious new target intended to answer that very question.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), has designated the next decade as The Solar+ Decade, calling for 20 percent of all electricity generation to come from solar by 2030. As part of the initiative, SEIA plans to produce a roadmap that will lay out the policy, social, environmental and economic elements needed to make solar a leading source of new power generation in the coming decade. Over the next ten years, SEIA will work to build collaborative partnerships and add additional expertise that will be needed to overcome the “systemic challenges preventing the wide scale adoption of solar.”
Pivot Energy is in full support of this initiative and looks forward to working alongside SEIA to help achieve this bold, yet attainable target in order to meaningfully address climate change. As a triple bottom line company, we believe measuring progress on more than just a financial basis is a better approach to doing business.
From Abigail Ross Hopper with SEIA: “If we achieve 20 percent solar by 2030, the potential payoff to our economy would be enormous. Picture this: solar could add more than $345 billion to the U.S. economy over the next ten years, reaching $53 billion annually. The solar workforce would grow to 600,000 professionals and Americans would enjoy greater energy choice, lower utility bills and cleaner air. Moreover, our success could prove that climate solutions don’t hurt the economy, but instead, are some of the strongest economic growth engines we’ve seen in decades. Meeting this target will require more than just public appetite for solar. Costs will need to decline across all market segments by nearly 50 percent and deployment will need to pick up each year. Collaboration and partnerships will be critical to our success. We’ll also need the technical expertise of researchers and the Energy Department to help us overcome the systemic challenges preventing the wide scale adoption of solar.”