Sumary of Biden wants 45% of US electricity to come from solar power by 2050. An energy tech expert breaks down what it would take.:
- The White House report says solar power could provide almost half of the US electricity supply by 2050. Energy technology expert Joshua D.
- 8, 2021, the White House released a report produced by the US Department of Energy that found that solar power could generate up to 45% of the US electricity supply by 2050, compared to less than 4% today.
- The Energy Department’s Solar Futures Study lays out three future pathways for the US grid: business as usual;
- and decarbonization with economy-wide electrification of activities that are powered now by fossil fuels.
- It concludes that the latter two scenarios would require approximately 1,050-1,570 gigawatts of solar power, which would meet about 44% to 45% of expected electricity demand in 2050. For perspective, one gigawatt of generating capacity is equivalent to about 3.1 million solar panels or 364 large-scale wind turbines.
- The rest would come mostly from a mix of other low- or zero-carbon sources, including wind, nuclear, hydropower, biopower, geothermal and combustion turbines run on zero-carbon synthetic fuels such as hydrogen.
- Energy storage capacity — systems such as large installations of high-capacity batteries — would also expand at roughly the same rate as solar.
- One advantage solar power has over many other low-carbon technologies is that most of the US has lots of sunshine.