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The USA is primed for an energy demand burst. Can solar bridge the gap?

8th February 2021 Print
real estate

The overall demand for energy from American homes and businesses declined sharply in 2020, but expert analysis by MarketWatch predicts that a recovery will come sooner rather than later. With pre-2020 energy demand expected to continue to rise sharply before reaching a new peak in 2029, there’s going to be a huge demand on energy suppliers to meet that need. Attention is, therefore, falling to solar. The USA commands huge swathes of ripe solar-farming territory which can, and should, be put into action. Current market indications suggest a positive future. 

The residential wave 

Leading the charge towards greater solar uptake is the residential property uptake surge. figures show that American homes are installing a huge 10Gw of power every year through solar panels, enough to meet the demand of 2m homes per annum. Part of why solar is becoming such a popular home improvement is because of the ease of setup; installation experts Freedom Solar Power ( note that technology has improved over the past decade in such a way that installation is far more affordable for a wider range of homeowners. With technology such as the Tesla Powerwall becoming more widespread and affordable, homeowners are jumping on the bandwagon to enjoy a little more energy freedom and to improve their house price. 

Government incentives 

Another key driving force behind the solar surge are government incentives. Since 2012 the government have driven forward the Solar Powering America scheme, which provides a wide range of benefits to private and public bodies looking to make the energy switch. While the scope of the agency stalled in 2016 through 2020, the new administration looks to be picking up the slack again, and looking to make big changes across the country. Expect further subsidies and incentives to be made available, which will make it again better to go for solar. 

Improving industrial tech 

For all the good that residential solar can do in increments, and for all the subsidies provided by the federal administration, there remains a roadblock in solar proliferation – technology. Batteries in particular are not yet at the standard required for round-the-clock energy provision. A good analogy is through wind power. In Texas, when the wind dies down on the state’s huge wind farms, energy generation is automatically pushed back into gas. Similarly, when the sun sets, there isn’t much storage capacity for solar. This is set to change, according to the BBC. In California, construction on a 300-megawatt lithium-ion battery is underway, using new efficient tech that will be able to safely and efficiently store solar power outside of the daytime hours. 

The incremental increases that each new solar home creates are powering a force behind which technological innovation can continue to work, with relief. Now, with mega-batteries coming online across the southern states, there’s reason to be positive about the role of solar in meeting the USA’s onward energy demand. The future is looking good for clean, renewable energies. 

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