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Report: Solar’s Future Bright With $100 Billion In Investments

A new Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) report says that the future of solar energy is shining vividly. Since the passing of the bipartisan federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), solar and its storage companies in the United States have announced more than $100 billion in private-sector investments

Solar factories alone will invest nearly $20 million into American communities,

increasing new production from coast to coast by 155 gigawatts. Today, solar energy is America’s fastest-growing power source, making up at least 40% of all new electricity-generating technology.

“We are unleashing abundant clean energy that is creating jobs and capable of delivering affordable, reliable power to every home and business in this country,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the SEIA, said in a press release.

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The increase in investment is expected to have wide-ranging effects on the American economy. According to the SEIA report, the country will have more than 17 times its current solar manufacturing capacity by 2026, which adds up to almost 140,000 new jobs over the next decade. That’s essentially tripling the size of the nation’s solar manufacturing workforce to a half million. 

These new jobs are competitive, often with higher wages and great benefits. New employment mirrors the growth in solar component production, such as for modules, cells, silicon ingots and wafers, and increased inverter capacity.

Since the IRA was passed in August 2022, more than three gigawatts of large-scale solar energy projects have been launched.

According to the report, more than 100,000 new customers have installed a residential solar system with battery storage in the past year.

Photo Courtesy Solar Energy Industries Association

“The unprecedented surge in demand for American-made clean energy is a clear sign that the clean energy incentives enacted last year by Congress are working,” Hopper said. “This law is a shining example of how good federal policy can help spur innovation and private investment in communities that need it most.”

The sky is the limit on how much solar can grow. By 2033, the U.S.’s capacity is predicted to be large enough to power the entire country east of the Mississippi River. SEIA says this growth is expected to generate an additional $565 billion in private-sector investments between now and 2033. 

That new solar energy will offset 459 million metric tons of carbon each year — a reduction of around one-third of all current power grid emissions. That’s an astounding and important cut on the nation’s way to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Photo Courtesy Solar Energy Industries Association

The report is clearly just the beginning. As numerous companies make sustainability changes to meet new carbon emission standards, the demand for clean energy grows. That demand sends billions of dollars into local and regional communities as new infrastructure spurs further investment and job growth.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, for every dollar spent on solar investment, $2.60 is added to the economy. If the past year is any indication, the future of this type of renewable energy is going to be a slow, steady, and sustainable burn. 


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