The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is increasing its goal for the Solar+ Decade, aiming for solar to account for 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030.
The organization’s previous goal was 20% by 2030. This revision aligns with the Biden administration’s clean energy targets while accounting for the growing urgency to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions in the electricity sector.
As Congress debates infrastructure and budget legislation, the U.S. faces an unprecedented opportunity to build a robust clean energy economy with solar as the leading source of new power generation this decade. Solar accounts for 56% of all new electric generating capacity additions in the first half of 2021, however, the industry’s growth rate is not fast enough to meaningfully address climate change.
To meet 30% solar by 2030 and President Biden’s clean energy goals, the solar industry must double its deployment pace. Without bold, long-term policy investments, solar will only account for 15% of electricity capacity by 2030, far short of what is needed to reduce emissions and address climate change.
“The destructive impacts of climate change are happening now, and it’s time to reimagine our entire electricity system,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “The solar industry is leading the way in reducing electricity sector emissions, but we’ll fall far short of the 850 GW we need to reach 30 percent of electricity generation by 2030 without policy action. It’s time for lawmakers to meet the urgency of this climate moment.”
If the industry reaches 30% solar by 2030, the solar and storage industry will grow to 1 million workers and add more than $800 billion in new private sector investment.
This target is a critical step in the fight against climate change. Meeting 30% of U.S. energy capacity with solar would cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 50%. The goal also underscores an important opportunity to provide policy certainty for businesses and to make long-term investments in domestic manufacturing.
“This target is ambitious, but if we’re intentional and we have the right policies in place, we will create new opportunities for economic prosperity in every zip code in America,” continues Hopper. “This is a once in a generation opportunity that we cannot let slip away.”