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Half of America using solar by 2050: Is it possible?

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By Lisa Iscrupe September 10th, 2021
3 min read
For business

Reaching clean energy goals

How can the U.S. reach this accelerated goal? By “doubling its installed solar power every year for the next four years, compared with 2020, and then doubling it again by 2030.” And, not only would increased solar energy use combat our climate woes, but the solar industry is predicted to add over one million jobs to the U.S. economy. 

That said, solar infrastructure in the nation would need to be fast-tracked. Fortunately, the cost of solar has been decreasing rapidly. According to Fast Company, “the cost of utility-scale solar power has dropped 82%, according to a recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. Onshore wind power has fallen in cost by 39%” in the last decade.” 

By the numbers

Take a look at some other energy statistics: 

  • 1,000,000,000: The number of potential jobs created by the expanding renewable energy sector.
  • 0: The predicted increase in residential electric bills by transitioning to clean energy.
  • 2 trillion: The price tag to reach the 2035 renewable energy goal.

Cheaper residential solar power is key

While utility-scale solar has been on an upward trend due to decreasing costs, solar panels for homes may still need to come down in price to encourage widespread adoption. Residential solar is a huge area of opportunity for the U.S. to increase its renewable energy use.  

A 2018 report from Environment America projected that if “builders start putting solar panels on all new American homes in 2020, the United States could more than triple its current solar power capacity by 2045.”

According to CleanTechnica, the path to greater residential solar use is through a more direct relationship between homebuilders and solar installers. This business model could result in:

  • less retrofitting for homes with traditional roofing.
  • lower soft costs, such as permits and marketing. Currently, solar companies’ costs to acquire new customers are passed along to the consumer.
  • a more straightforward process for homeowners between homebuilders and installers.

The bottom line on America’s clean energy ambitions

These lofty goals call for an extensive overhaul of the traditional U.S. energy system. Luckily, numerous studies have predicted that meeting these goals by 2050 is possible with quick and focused action. Previous barriers surrounding the price tag of solar energy and other renewable technologies are dissolving. Now America must deal with the political and cultural hurdles that are holding the nation back from clean energy.

Lisa Iscrupe is a writer and editor who specializes in energy, the deregulated electricity market, and solar power. Her work has been referenced by CNN, The Daily MBA, The Media Bulletin, and other national sources. Find more of Lisa’s work at