This week, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced a big boost for the solar industry. The agency approved an $11.8 billion budget for 2021, a 75% increase from the previous year’s budget. The funding will help jumpstart a residential solar energy revolution.
Increased Funding From Congress
While the Trump administration has worked hard to make sure the industry has plenty of financial support, much of the increase in funding came from Congress. The bipartisan “Sustainable Energy and Jobs Act” provides an additional $5 billion in federal funding. It also created a 50% federal tax credit for solar projects that generate power by 2025.
Projects To Be Funded
With the additional money, the US federal government aims to help spur the building of more than 50 gigawatts of solar capacity globally over the next five years. This is enough energy to power about 16 million homes. The government is also investing in research and development for solar technologies.
Some of the projects that will benefit from the increased funding include:
- The expansion of the US-based Abbotsford Solar Project in Abbotsford, California
- The expansion of the Indian Point Solar Project in New York
- The expansion of the Sunrise Solar Project in New York
- The expansion of the Blythe Solar Project in California
- The expansion of the Topaz Solar Project in California
- The expansion of the Solstice Canyon Solar Project in California
- The expansion of the Ivanpah Solar Project in California
- A 120-megawatt solar farm in Australia
These projects will help contribute to the United States’ goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2050. The goal is part of the administration’s efforts to combat climate change and become more energy independent.
The increase in renewable energy funding from the federal government will also help drive down the cost of solar power. It’s anticipated that residential solar will become more affordable as a result of the new program.
Although the recent increase in funding for renewable energy is certainly cause for celebration, it’s not yet clear whether or not the sun is finally shining on the solar power industry. The outlook for the coming years is still cloudy. On the one hand, the costs for solar hardware and energy have steadily declined, making solar power more affordable and attractive. On the other hand, uncertainties surrounding the industry continue to loom. The risks of financial instability and volatility still loom. However, with increased government support and more people deciding to go solar, the future looks far more promising.
Deciding whether or not to invest in solar power is a challenging decision. Many people wonder whether or not the financial return is worth it. Although the benefits of renewable energy are numerous and significant, it’s not always the easiest option to invest in. However, with time, the rewards of being able to produce your own power can quickly become apparent.