The solar industry is claiming the decade of the 2020s as its decade and is launching a new campaign to help it expand. States are also boosting their renewable energy goals and targets. In Maryland the state’s renewable energy standard is up to 50% and Xcel committed to closing the last of its coal plants in Minnesota and the upper midwest early.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has launched a new campaign, The Solar+ Decade, claims the 2020s as its decade. It aims to see the US boost the amount of solar installed to the US to provide 20% of the nation’s electric generation by 2030. That’s a lot of growth considering the US gets 2.5% of its energy from solar power now.
In Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) allowed Senate Bill 516, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, to become law, moving the state to 50% renewables by 2030. However, he didn’t sign the legislation which was passed by the Democratically controlled legislature. Rather he said he would put forth a plan to move the state to 100% renewable energy by 2040. Hogan’s proposal will be called Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES).
In the upper midwest Xcel Energy, which previously announced it would move to 100% carbon free energy production by 2050, said it would close the rest of its coal-fired power plants in the region a decade early. It will also add in roughly 3 gigawatts of new solar power and more wind power as it moves towards renewable energy.
The next generation of solar panels will be likely more efficient and cheaper than today’s solar panels and will use different technologies, like perovskite crystals rather than the silicon that most solar panels are based on today. To help accelerate the move to more efficient, cheaper technologies, European research organizations have come together to create the European Perovskite Initiative. The initiatives will allow the research organizations to share information about the technology and breakthroughs in it.Tweet