NewsWorldThe Biden administration is betting big on solar energy...

The Biden administration is betting big on solar energy in the United States – archyworldys


Solar panels in Kern County, near Mojave, California, June 18, 2021 (AFP / Patrick T. FALLON)

The Biden administration said on Wednesday that the sun could produce 45% of the country’s electricity by 2050, and thus play a major role in the fight against climate change, provided that it sharply accelerates investments in the ‘solar energy.

The step is high.

In 2020, photovoltaic panels and solar thermal power plants produced just under 80 gigawatts (GW) in the United States, which is enough to meet 3% of the country’s electricity demand.

To achieve the ambitions presented in a report from the Ministry of Energy on Wednesday, the deployment of solar energy would have to quadruple in less than ten years: by increasing it from 15 GW in 2020 to 30 GW each year by 2025 , then to 60 GW per year between 2025 and 2030.

This requires “significant cost reductions,” “supporting public policies” and “large-scale electrification” of solar power, the ministry acknowledged.

The electrical network, initially designed more for coal, gas or nuclear power plants, must notably evolve significantly to adapt to the intermittent energy of the sun.

And the United States has to rely on solar panels made largely in China.

– Clean electricity in 2035 –

Joe Biden’s administration wants electricity as a whole to no longer be a source of polluting emissions by 2035 and is banking on the vast infrastructure investment plans still under discussion in Congress to do so.

President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on September 8, 2021 (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Kevin Dietsch)

President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on September 8, 2021 (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Kevin Dietsch)

In his arsenal of measures, the US president also relies on wind energy and has given impetus to several large offshore wind projects.

But the report released Wednesday “highlights the fact that solar power, our cheapest and fastest growing clean energy source, could produce enough electricity to power every home in the United States. ‘by 2035 and at the same time employ up to 1.5 million people, “said Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm in a statement.

This “requires a massive and fair deployment of renewable energies and strong decarbonization policies – exactly what is spelled out in the two-party backed law on investment in infrastructure and jobs and in the + Build Back program. Better + (“Build back better”) from President Biden, “she added.

According to the scenario developed by its services, solar energy would represent 37% of electricity in 2035, the rest being provided by wind energy (36%), nuclear energy (11% -13%), hydroelectric power (5% – 6%), biomass and geothermal energy (1%).

This would be a major turning point compared to the current pattern: in 2020, renewable energy provided 21% of electricity in the United States, the rest being produced by natural gas (40%), nuclear ( 20%) and coal (19%).

– Tax credits –

In a letter to policymakers, nearly 750 companies in the solar energy sector insisted on the need to expand existing support policies and put them in place for the long term.

Quadruple the current rate of installations by 2030 represents “a race against time”, they say, notably asking for a strengthening of the current tax credit on investments in solar energy.

Visiting New Jersey and New York on Tuesday to assess the damage from the deadly storm Ida, the White House tenant once again called for urgent action against climate change, in particular to adapt aging infrastructure to the feared multiplication of extreme weather events.

For the specialist in the energy sector Dan Pickering, the objectives set Wednesday by the administration are more “a source of inspiration” than “pragmatic” ambitions.

“Trillions of dollars will be spent trying to achieve this. It is absolutely essential to set a course effectively,” he said on Twitter.

The environmental NGO NRDC for its part, on the social network, “urged Congress to fully fund investments in clean electricity in the current budget process to make this plan a reality.”

jum / Dt / led


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