2022 may be remembered as the year that solar was set on track to overtake the fossil fuel industry. With the Inflation Reduction Act now signed into law, market analysts predict that the solar industry will grow roughly 40% in the United States alone. Considering that the US currently accounts for 16% of global energy consumption, this will spur a major shift toward solar power over the next decade.
Yet, it didn’t take an act of Congress to drive consumers toward the solar industry. With energy prices at their highest in decades, global interest in off-the-grid power supplies has been growing steadily in recent years. USA Clean Energy Association reviews some of these trends and discusses how they are affecting the global solar market outlook below.
Solar Industries Just Earned Billions of Dollars in Tax Breaks
Despite its name, the Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant piece of legislation in American history to support and invest in green energies. The bill not only extends the Investment Tax Credit for solar producers through 2030 but also awards additional tax breaks to solar battery manufacturers and individual homeowners who invest in new panels.
Thanks to these provisions, the US solar industry is projected to create nearly 550,000 new jobs in an industry that currently employs 4.3 million people globally and is already growing at a rate of 9% annually. This is expected to generate just short of $400 billion of investment for the industry, pushing it to new heights around the world.
Consumers Turn to Solar Power
As solar technology continues to become more efficient and affordable thanks to innovations in photovoltaic cell manufacturing and battery storage, an increasing number of consumers are turning to solar power to meet their energy needs. In particular, many homeowners are now choosing to install solar panels and batteries to insulate themselves from power outages and rising energy prices.
This is particularly true in markets where energy deregulation has led to volatile prices. In the commercial sector, solar power is also becoming increasingly popular as a way to reduce operating costs. Businesses of all sizes are now turning to solar to power their operations, with some even installing solar panels on their rooftops.
The trend toward solar power is also being driven by a growing awareness of the environmental benefits of renewable energy. With the effects of climate change becoming more and more evident, consumers are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar power is one of the most effective ways to do this, and as awareness of its benefits grows, so too does demand.
The Bottom Line
The global solar industry is growing at a remarkable pace and could soon rival long-standing energy titans in the fossil fuel industry. This growth is being driven by government investment (both in the US and internationally) as well as a growing interest among consumers looking to cut their energy bills while helping to protect the environment from added carbon emissions.