- SEIA has proposed a new target for the US solar industry to grow solar installations by 2030 to account for 30% of national energy mix
- It would mean adding more than 48 GW DC of solar installations over the next decade
- Cumulatively, it would mean adding more than 700 GW DC between 2021 and 2030 to reach somewhere around 850 GW DC
- It would also encourage energy storage capacity to increase, adding an average of 40 GWh annually between 2022 to 2030
- SEIA argues bold policy action and continued private sector innovation will help achieve the target
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has set an ambitious target for the US solar industry, with an aim to increase solar power generation to account for 30% of the national energy mix by 2030, up from its previous target of 20%.
On a cumulative basis, it should translate into around 850 GW DC solar power capacity by 2030, more than 750 GW DC from 95 GW DC installed at the end of 2020. This would mean the country would need to install annually more than 75 GW DC solar on an average over the next decade. In 2020, the country installed 19 GW PV (see US Installed Record 19.2 GW Solar In 2020).
If this happens, SEIA believes it would grow jobs in the solar and storage industry to 1 million workers, adding well over $800 billion in new private sector investment. On the other hand, delaying progress towards this goal even by 3 years would mean the US would need to install 436 GW DC between 2028 and 2030. ‘Staggering’ it calls it.
To keep up with the increase in solar installations, energy storage capacity will also ‘skyrocket’, adding an average of 40 GWh annually from 2022 to 2030.
Agreeing that reaching the 30% share would mean ‘massive deployment’, it argues that ‘with bold policy action and continued private sector innovation’ the target is ‘absolutely achievable’.
SEIA cites shifting political dynamics, increased urgency to address climate change, COVID-19 related challenges among reasons for this increase in target for the industry, which under a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario would have made solar account for some 15% electricity generation in 2030.
“The destructive impacts of climate change are happening now, and it’s time to reimagine our entire electricity system. It’s time for lawmakers to meet the urgency of this climate moment,” said SEIA’s President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper.
The Issue Brief by the association is available on its website. Its release coincides with Swedish youth climate activist Great Thunberg blasting global leaders for failing to take urgent and requisite action on climate change at the recent Youth4Climate Summit, calling their promises for a green future as ‘blah blah blah’.
The US government expects solar to account for 40% of the country’s power mix by 2035, calculating cumulative to reach 550 GW by 2030 (see US Wants 40% Electricity From Solar By 2035).