Solar Power Solutions Brief
Solar power has expanded dramatically in recent years, becoming the leading technology installed for new power generation around the world. In 2019, it accounted for 45% of global capacity added. Last year, solar power became the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the world, outcompeting fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.
A new Solutions Brief by Climate Central explains the growth of solar and dives into projections of how much more solar is needed to reach net zero emissions. Look for more Climate Central solutions issue briefs in the upcoming months.
Despite the pandemic, the U.S. added a record 19 gigawatts of solar in 2020, for a total of 89 GW installed capacity. That’s enough to power 16.4 million American homes. But we have a long way to go.
Net Zero America (NZA), a research initiative by scientists and engineers at Princeton University, identified five pathways by which the U.S. could transform its energy system to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. In one scenario, most states will see growth in utility-scale solar capacity (42 states) and in solar jobs (34 states) by 2030. By 2050, the economy could add 495 new solar jobs per 10,000 people nationwide, suggesting that solar could become a significant industry and major employer by the next decade.