Report Shows Strong Solar Growth Trend

In a recent Department of Energy report, new wind and solar power capacity additions dwarf most fossil fuels types.

This post is basically part two of the most recent one detailing future solar power growth predictions in the U.S. The basic idea here is that solar has been, and is completely expected to, stay on a growth trend that massively outpaces all fossil fuels.

Case in point is this recent report released by the Department of Energy that shows wind and solar power growing at a pace much faster than fossil fuels. In fact, it shows that wind and solar accounted for more than 500 gigawatts of new energy capacity for 2018. Of course, the natural gas boom is still prevalent, but due to the inherently non-renewable nature of that source of power, it can be expected that it will eventually follow a downward trajectory.

U.S. Department of Energy

Another interesting thing definitely worth mentioning about this graph is the quite noticeable portion of energy storage. An increasing amount of energy storage is being incorporated in renewable energy projects. Battery storage is an undeniably important part of current and future wind and solar installations.

This post is, yet again, inspired by a recent one by PV Magazine USA. According to their research, projected solar growth shows a possible 222 gigawatts of solar and 64 gigawatts of energy storage through to 2023. Of course, it is quite possible that not every single gigawatt of these figures will be installed and it is also quite possible that the numbers will be even larger.

The primary point of this follow up post to the last was to add a few more numbers to the story. There’s plenty of statistical evidence to prove the solar industry’s ascension as a part of the total energy mix in the coming years. It may be easy to doubt any one person’s predictions, but hard data from reputable sources like the Department of Energy are difficult to refute.

The big picture here is that solar power will become a major source of energy much sooner than later!

One Of The Largest Solar Projects About To Be Constructed

An almost 500 MW (497 MW) solar panel project is about to begin construction in Texas.

The project is owned by Enel Green Power North America (A subsidiary of Enel Green Power, based in Italy). They have named this project “Roadrunner.” There’s only three solar installations that are slightly larger than this one and they are all in California.

From Enel Green Power

Approximately half of the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, and the other half by the end of the 2020. By industry standards, this is a very aggressive timeline.

As amazing as the news of this single project is, it is only the tip of the solar iceberg in Texas. There currently is an astounding 43 GW of solar capacity in the interconnection queue. About 1.2 GW are expected to come online by the end of the year. This would be the first time that more than a gigawatt of solar capacity was installed in Texas in a single year.

The company states that, once completed, the project will be able to generate 1.2 TWh of electricity annually and offset approximately 800,000 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Some may say that this, on the surface, seems a bit ironic or unexpected in a state that has been known as a significant producer of fossil fuels for many decades. The big picture is that the energy industry follows the same business rules as any other. If there’s a way to reduce costs, then that path is almost always followed. So the bottom line and the big statement that is being made here is that solar power is now cheaper than fossil fuels, even in the Lonestar State.

So, unfortunately, the upcoming massive adoption of solar power in Texas and across the country is not due to vitally important environmental reasons. On the other hand, it’s simply good business in terms of lowering costs and achieving long term savings.

Whatever the reasons, it is ultimately a great thing that major power corporations are beginning to invest heavily into solar power!