U.S. Solar Booming

Initially, I thought the U.S tariffs placed on solar photovoltaic (PV) panel imports from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) would dramatically slow growth of solar energy in the United States. The impact on solar energy, since the January 22, 2018 solar PV tariffs have been twofold:

1. Five new solar PV panel manufacturing plants have been opened in the United States

2. The demand for solar energy is continuing to dramatically increase across the United States

A recent study released by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables projects the following states will add new solar capacity over then next five years (2018-2023):

STATE NEW SOLAR CAPACITY 2018 – 2023 MEGAWATTS) PERCENTAGE INCREASE
1 California 14,037 65%
2 Florida 5,162 276%
3 Texas 4,366 166%
4 North Carolina 4,230 94%
5 New York 3,265 223%
6 Nevada 3,060 123%
7 Arizona 2,889 87%
8 Georgia 2,747 176%
9 Virginia 2,293 361%
10 New Jersey 1,920 76%
11 Illinois 1,857 1898%
12 Colorado 1,832 174%

The move to solar is occurring at a small scale as roof top solar PV panels on homes and businesses and at a large scale at solar PV parks for utilities and major corporations. Some states are mandating utilities increase their current levels of renewable energy. However, the primary driver for he move to solar at both the small and large scale is economics. Solar energy is now a cheaper source of electricity than all fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).

In summary, the luster of solar energy has not dimmed as a result of U.S. tariffs. Solar energy is growing at a dramatic rate because it is cheaper than all forms of fossil fuels, doesn’t generate greenhouse gases and generates local jobs in the state.

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