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Energy Department Challenges Solar Industry to Triple Capacity by 2025

The Department of Energy has issued a challenge to the U.S. solar power industry. It urged developers to increase the amount of total installed community solar to 20 GW by 2030.

To date, the total installed capacity of community solar is 7 GW.

The 20-GW target was first announced back in 2021, when the Department of Energy’s national Community Solar Partnership said it would power the equivalent of 5 million households and result in savings of $1 billion for the consumers that benefit from it.

Last year, solar power developers added a total 33 GW in new solar capacity in the United States. The number represented a 55% increase on 2022, according to the data, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie.

“Solar remains the fastest-growing energy source in the United States, and despite a difficult economic environment, this growth is expected to continue for years to come,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper, as quoted by Power Magazine.

“To maintain this forecasted [sic] growth, we must modernize regulations and reduce bureaucratic roadblocks to make it easier for clean energy companies to invest capital and create jobs.”

The 2023 number was also the highest ever in solar additions and growth is seen remaining strong this year as well, boosting generation. Back in November, the Energy Information Administration forecast solar generation this year could surpass hydropower generation.

This strong growth has not been without challenges, however. Developers have repeatedly complained about the cost of panels amid tariffs on cheap Asian imports while local panel manufacturers have hailed those as a form of support for local production.

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Rising prices have sapped demand for residential solar, too, slowing down the growth of this segment. That demand destruction pushed several developers into bankruptcy last year and weighed on the stocks of the public players among them.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Brett Kuntze on February 15 2024 said:
    The real reason for Chinese solar panels is to put microinverters on back of the panels which does nothing ...We dont want to manufacture panels as they are not as profitable as microinverters. MIcroinverters are widely used on rooftops not solar farms , so rooftops are not as competitive as solar farms.. Yet , locals are often against solar farms probably because they prefer to keep solar confined to rooftops while they profited from useles microinverters.
    The Energy Dept need to understand that we must be more competitive by focusing on solar farms not rooftops.
    Fossilheads are laughing at rooftops not solar farms .. Fossiil heads are scared of solar farms.
    I am happy to see NEM 3.0 adopted in California that makes rooftop solar far less competitive !! This is good!
    We have to stop importing Chinese solar panels and applying lipstick to the pigs.

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