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Solar panels are seen at the Desert Stateline project near Nipton, California, U.S. August 16, 2021. Picture taken August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Bridget Bennett


US Energy Department: Solar could power 40 percent of America by 2035

Sep 08, 2021


Solar energy could power 40 percent of America’s electricity by 2035 according to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Energy. The Solar Futures Study also said solar power could employ as many as 1.5 million people in that same time frame.

According to the report, the U.S. added a record 15 gigawatts (GW) to its total solar power supply. The 76 GW in total in 2020 made up 3 percent of the entirety of the country’s electricity supply.

To reach the 40 percent goal, the department said solar power deployment will need to grow by an average of 30 GW each year between now and 2025, and ramp up to 60 GW per year between 2025 and 2030. 1,000 GW of solar power would need to be deployed by 2035.

Administration officials said the report is not intended as a policy statement or administration goal. Becca Jones-Albertus, Director of the Energy Department’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, described the report as “designed to guide and inspire the next decade of solar innovation by helping us answer questions like: How fast does solar need to increase capacity and to what level?″

However, in the press release announcing the report, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said “Achieving this bright future requires a massive and equitable deployment of renewable energy and strong decarbonization polices –  exactly what is laid out in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda”.

On Tuesday, Biden used his tour of neighborhoods damaged by the remnants of Ida to push his $1 trillion infrastructure plan as a way of fighting back against the “code red” danger posed by climate change. “Folks, the evidence is clear, climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy, and the threat is here. It’s not going to get any better,” Biden said. “The question is can it get worse? We can stop it from getting worse.”

During the tour, he also spent time pushing Congress to pass his spending bill which includes solar infrastructure. On Wednesday, his comments came at a post-Labor Day event at the White House. “We have to invest in high quality job training and apprenticeships and fast growing sectors compete to give middle class families a well-deserved tax cut for daycare and health care and provide a significant monthly tax cut for working families with children,” Biden said. “I want us to see us finally, finally provide dreamers, TPS recipients, farm workers, essential workers, a pathway to citizenship, bringing them out of the shadows so they can receive the protection and representation of our laws and our unions provide.”

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