For the first time since 2018, solar installations fell in the US last year, according to a recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association. The U.S. ban on importing of products manufactured with forced labor impacted solar panel availability, and was a key factor in the drop in projects, many of which were large-scale solar developments designed to provide power to the grid while a record 700,000 residential rooftop solar installations. The solar industry is optimistic that supply chain improvements and other measures will boost solar expansion over the next 10 years.
Today, 6% of US homes have solar, and the report says that number is expected to rise to 15% by the end of the decade. The future of solar developments may be bright, but current infrastructure has caused a backlog in deploying solar infrastructure to the grid. “Our ability to decarbonise in this country and to hit our goals is 100% tied to our ability to improve grid infrastructure,” lead author Michelle Davis told the Financial Times. The DOE recently estimated that the US’s transmission system needs to grow 57% to meet the energy growth laws like the IRA are promoting. (FT, Reuters, OilPrice)