Solar Power #1 In Electricity Added In 2018!
From Business Insiders Article published on June 13, 2018 by Jeremy Berke. Read the full piece here.
- The US added more solar power than any other type of electricity in the first quarter of 2018.
- Solar accounts for 55% of all US electricity added so far in 2018.
- The number is evidence of a broader global shift: Investment in renewable energy for electricity is overtaking fossil fuels.
“This data shows that solar has become a common-sense option for much of the US and is too strong to be set back for long,” SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement.
The SEIA report notes that the bulk of the new solar capacity added comes from utility-scale projects, which are large installations that feed power into the grid. Non-residential solar, a category used when companies like AT&T and Nestle switch their electricity source to solar power, was the second largest area of growth, according to the SEIA.
This growth comes despite the 30% tariffs the Trump administration levied on imported solar panels earlier this year. The tariffs went into effect at the beginning of February, a change that some in the solar industry previously told Business Insider would lead to a reduced demand for solar power.
After the tariffs went into effect, developers killed some $2.5 billion of solar installation projects, according to Reuters . Some US senators recently introduced a bipartisan bill to repeal the tariffs , saying they “jeopardize tens of thousands of workers” who are employed installing and maintaining solar installations in the US.
In 2017, before the tariffs were implemented, it cost around $50 to produce one megawatt-hour of electricity from solar power, according to an analysis from the investment bank Lazard. Coal, by comparison, cost about $102 per megawatt-hour to produce, the report calculated.
Rising US solar investment mirrors a larger global shift. In 2017, solar energy attracted $160.8 billion in investment , according to data from the United Nations Environment Program, outpacing nuclear and fossil fuels. China was by far the largest investor last year, sinking $126 billion alone into the renewable energy sector, according to a UN report.
Solar in 2017 was also the fastest growing electricity source globally, with 98 gigawatts added in 2017.