The United States is transitioning to a clean energy future, and the latest projection shows that solar photovoltaic (PV) and batteries will account for 71% of new power generation capacity in the country in 2023. This significant increase in solar PV and battery capacity is driven by the declining cost of renewable energy technologies and the growing demand for clean energy.
Understanding Solar PV and Batteries
What is Solar PV?
Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology uses solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. These panels are made up of photovoltaic cells, which absorb the sun’s energy and generate direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter then converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, which can be used to power homes, businesses, and other buildings.
What are Batteries?
Batteries are devices that store electrical energy for later use. They are used in a wide range of applications, from powering small electronics like smartphones to providing backup power for homes and businesses. In the context of renewable energy, batteries are used to store excess energy generated by solar panels or wind turbines for use when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
The Growth of Solar PV and Batteries in the US
The Declining Cost of Solar PV and Batteries
One of the primary drivers of the growth of solar PV and batteries in the US is the declining cost of these technologies. Over the past decade, the cost of solar PV has dropped by more than 70%, while the cost of batteries has fallen by more than 80%. This cost decline has made solar PV and batteries increasingly cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuel-based power generation.
The Growing Demand for Clean Energy
Another key driver of the growth of solar PV and batteries in the US is the growing demand for clean energy. As people become more aware of the environmental impacts of fossil fuels, there is a growing demand for renewable energy sources like solar and wind. In addition, many states have set ambitious renewable energy targets, which are driving utilities to invest in renewable energy technologies.
The Role of Government Policy
Government policy has also played a role in driving the growth of solar PV and batteries in the US. Federal tax credits and state-level incentives have helped to make solar PV and batteries more affordable for consumers and businesses. In addition, many states have implemented net metering policies, which allow customers with solar panels to sell excess electricity back to the grid.
The Benefits of Solar PV and Batteries
Solar PV and batteries offer a range of environmental benefits. By generating electricity from sunlight, solar PV reduces the need for fossil fuels and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, batteries can help to reduce the need for fossil fuels by storing excess energy generated by renewable sources like solar and wind.
In addition to the environmental benefits, solar PV and batteries can also provide economic benefits. By reducing the need for fossil fuels, solar PV and batteries can help to stabilize energy prices and reduce the risk of price volatility. In addition, solar PV and batteries can create jobs in the renewable energy sector.
Energy Security Benefits
Finally, solar PV and batteries can provide energy security benefits by reducing the reliance on imported fossil fuels. By generating electricity from domestic sources like sunlight and wind, solar PV and batteries can help to increase energy independence and reduce the risk of supply disruptions.
The growth of solar PV and batteries in the US is driven by a range of factors, including the declining cost of these technologies, the growing demand for clean energy, and government policy. Ready to embrace the clean energy revolution? Contact Rual Engineering today for expert solar PV system design and be part of the sustainable future!