Solar power has been making waves in the renewable energy sector. The release of the recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) report provides a comprehensive look into the numbers that highlight solar energy’s growth in the U.S. The vision of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 is not just a distant dream but a tangible reality, buoyed by multiple encouraging trends.
Impressive Growth Amid Challenges
Even during the pandemic, the renewable sector showcased resilience and adaptability. As of October 2022, renewables made up 22.60% of the U.S.’s total electrical energy output, marking a substantial 14.26% growth compared to the previous year. The trend predicts that renewables might soon cater to at least 25% of the energy needs, an optimistic figure for solar investors.
This growth isn’t solitary; it’s fueled by state grants, commercial applications, and a global shift toward affordable solar power. Interestingly, while wind energy maintains a strong 10% market hold, solar, currently at 5%, has immense potential for growth, presenting lucrative opportunities for investors and developers.
Opportunities in the Coming Decade
The EIA’s roadmap outlines the prospective growth areas in renewable energy for the decade:
With the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) at the helm, the future might see increased grants for builders and entrepreneurs leaning towards solar. However, potential alterations to the IRA could shift the grant programs’ responsibility to the states.
An untapped resource in the U.S., heat pumps, which are energy-efficient alternatives to conventional heating and cooling methods, will likely gain traction, especially with states like NY endorsing them.
Strategic Solar Installations
Solar power installations are no longer just about energy; they’re about utility and economy. The emerging trends of parking lot installations, which double as shades, and the amplified rooftop installations on commercial infrastructures, along with heightened residential interest, depict solar energy’s expanding horizon.
Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)
One of the emerging trends in the solar landscape is BIPV, which integrates solar panels directly into the building structures, eliminating the need for separate solar power installations. BIPV not only serves architectural aesthetics but also enhances energy efficiency. With BIPV’s global market estimated at US$17.7 Billion in 2022 and a projected surge to US$83.3 billion by 2030, its adoption is only expected to rise in the coming decade.
The solar power sector is on the cusp of a golden era. By staying abreast of the latest trends and developments and aligning strategies accordingly, stakeholders can not only capitalize on the present opportunities but also pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future.