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Friday, 29 October 2010

Solar could supply 10% of U.S. energy needs by 2025

Today, solar energy accounts for less than one half of a percent of the energy supply in the U.S. But environmental group Green America believes that number could jump to 10 percent by 2025—and Bloomberg New Energy Finance echoes that sentiment, projecting solar power to supply 4.3 percent of the U.S. energy needs by 2020, with 2.4 percent of households powered by solar.
A press release from Green America Climate Action states, “Our research indicates that the solar contribution could be quite considerable, realistically reaching 10 percent of total U.S. electricity generation by 2025 by deploying a combination of solar photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP).”
On a global scale, the use of solar power has increased 40 percent over the past 10 years. In grid-constrained areas and in places not serviced by traditional energy grids, solar power is extremely competitive. In areas with incentives and high electricity rates, solar power is becoming more and more comparable to traditional utility costs.
As the price of solar power comes ever closer to cost parity, the cost of traditional energy sources such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear is on the rise. Green America projects the cost of solar power will equal the cost of retail electrical pricing in the U.S. by 2015. According to a recent article, Bloomberg agrees the explosion of solar energy is imminent, citing the fact that the costs of solar are going down just as government policies such as tax incentives, grants, and renewable energy credits are coming into play.
While renewable energy relies largely on subsidies in the present economy, current cost reductions and policy matters are paving the way for the future growth and stability of an unsubsidized solar industry.
“There is a very positive growth story for solar in the U.S.,” Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a statement. “A few more years of support, and then the engine of unsubsidized competitiveness will take over.”

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