The Solar Industries Association (SEIA) says a new U.S. federal study forecasts that solar energy will play a big role in the coming years.
Citing a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), SEIA notes that the government agency predicts most new electric generation capacity in the U.S. through 2040 will come from natural gas and renewable energy. Of the 83 GW of renewable capacity additions being forecast, nearly half is expected to come from solar photovoltaic systems.
"Solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy today – and, as this report bears out, it will continue to be for years and years to come," says Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA." The continued, rapid deployment of solar nationwide will create thousands of new American jobs, pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy and help to significantly reduce pollution. Just as importantly, it will also provide Americans with the freedom to decide how to power their homes, businesses, schools and government facilities in the future.
"This report predicts that 60 percent of all new PV installations in the years ahead will be rooftop solar, creating significant savings when it comes to future energy costs," continues Resch." But this progress could be jeopardized if smart public policies, such as the solar investment tax credit (ITC), net energy metering and renewable portfolio standards, come under renewed attack by entrenched fossil fuel interests.
"Of immediate concern, we are strongly urging Congress to adopt "commence construction' language this year, allowing project developers to take full advantage of the highly-successful solar ITC and giving Americans access to new, affordable clean energy sources."
According to SEIA, applying the ‘commence construction’ standard across the renewable energy sector would drive the installation of an additional 4 GW of solar capacity in 2017 and 2018.