The Biden administration would like America to go greener, and it says solar energy is just the ticket. The Department of Energy’s new Solar Futures Study shows that solar energy could potentially power 40% of all electricity use in the U.S. by 2035.
The plan is ambitious, but Biden’s team is all in on the president’s goal to decarbonize the economy. The administration is campaigning heavily to convince everyone that solar energy is the best way to get to a clean energy future.
More jobs and lower costs
In announcing the study, Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm added that moving towards solar would likely create an additional 1.5 million jobs. Overall, a full clean energy transition could generate around 3 million jobs across.
“Achieving this bright future requires a massive and equitable deployment of renewable energy and strong decarbonization policies – exactly what is laid out in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda,” Granholm said.
Convincing consumers to buy into solar might take some doing, but the study suggests that a renewable-based grid will create significant health and cost savings. Reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality could potentially result in savings of $1.1 trillion to $1.7 trillion, which Granholm’s department says far outweighs the additional costs incurred from transitioning to clean energy.
In his initial pitch for solar, Biden reminded consumers that solar photovoltaic (PV) is already the least expensive electricity option in dozens of states. “It is important to bring this low-cost, zero-carbon electricity to more parts of the country to save American families money,” he said.
The Energy Department says another benefit of the plan is that consumers won’t pay an extra dime for electricity until at least 2035 because the costs are fully offset by savings from technological improvements.
“Consumers burn fossil fuels because it's cost-efficient and convenient — for now,” writes Kathryn Parkman in ConsumerAffairs study of solar energy vs. fossil fuel. "Experts do not consider fossil fuels renewable energy because their global supply is finite. Solar energy, however, is a truly renewable source of natural energy. The sun won't stop providing sunlight any time soon, and it's available all over the world.”