It’s day two of #AmericanCleanPowerWeek! Today we are highlighting solar power, a key climate solution that can help meet our nation’s 100% carbon-free power goal by 2035.
Utility-scale solar power is the 3rd largest source of renewable energy in the country, generating enough energy to power 12.1 million homes. Today, solar energy delivers over 12% of the electricity produced in California and Nevada.
Solar costs have fallen over 90% over the last decade, making solar power one of the most affordable sources of new electricity across the nation. Solar power was the #2 energy type among new power additions in 2020, and reduced costs for consumers and buyers has enabled solar power generation to scale up like never before.
That growth translates into American jobs. There are nearly 232,000 American solar workers across the country, with more on the way. Solar installer is the nation’s third fastest-growing profession, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Solar projects like the newly opened Bighorn Solar array in Colorado are just one of the many examples of how the clean energy industry is powering American jobs and driving our nation toward a lower-carbon future. The 300 MW solar array, built in collaboration with ACP members Lightsource bp, bp, and Xcel Energy, will provide electricity to a steel mill, reducing the facility’s industrial emissions while creating more than 1,000 jobs. The steel mill will be the first in the world to be largely powered by the sun and is a prime example of what the future of energy can look like as we transition to a clean energy future.
With solar being less expensive and more readily available, major companies are turning to the sun to power their operations. More Fortune 500 companies are purchasing clean energy sources like solar power, having recognized that it’s an affordable, reliable option to power operations and reach sustainability goals. In fact, according to ACP’s newly released Clean Power Quarterly 2021 Q3 Market Report, demand for clean power continues to rise with corporate customers announcing over 37,000 MW of clean power Power Purchase Agreements thus far in 2021.
And when companies invest in and partner with the solar energy industry, their communities benefit. From creating jobs to providing additional tax revenue and extra sources of income, solar energy is helping communities grow across America. Solar power delivers over $800 million a year in state and local tax payments to communities and landowner lease payments to farmers and ranchers. That’s new income communities can use to invest in schools, fix roads, fund emergency services, invest in the future, and use to provide extra sources of income for farmers, ranchers, and landowners.
Solar power is a vital source of clean energy and is a key part of The United States of Clean Energy. Our latest Quarterly Market report also shows that more solar power is on the way and represents 54% of the clean power capacity in the project pipeline.
Now, Congress has an opportunity to further accelerate our clean energy future by supporting private investment in clean energy like solar power. Now is the moment.
Jen ScungioDigital Communications Manager