On Tuesday, a solar industry body said, solar installations in the United States are likely to quadruple by 2030 thanks to booming demand for carbon-free power and an extension of a key industry subsidy late last year.
The sector is expected to see an installation of more than 324 gigawatt (GW) of capacity spread over the next ten years; this is more than three times the nearly 100 GW installed by 2020, said the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) citing a report issued jointly with Wood Mackenzie.
This amount of electricity can power around 60 million homes, equivalent to 40% of homes in the country today.
The outlook reflects both robust demand from utilities and corporations seeking to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets and declining costs for the technology that has buttressed the market for home solar installations.
Solar installations in the country surged by 43% last year to 19.2 GW, an annual record for the industry. Utility-scale projects, which account for most of the market, experienced only minor disruptions due to coronavirus-induced COVID-19 related lockdowns.
Residential installations took a large hit due to the lockdowns, but ended the year up by 11% at a record 3.1 GW.
In late 2020, the U.S. Congress extended a 26% tax credit which helped reduce the cost of solar facilities as part of the coronavirus aid package.
According to SEIA, government support structures including further tax incentives, and workforce training are required for the United States to cut sufficient amount of greenhouse gases to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
“We need policy in all of those areas so that we can not just grow on the path that we’re on, but accelerate that growth,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s President in an interview.