Meeting solar demand during the pandemic has been difficult for industry leaders. However, that’s changing, in fact, rather quickly.
According to a new International Energy Agency report, renewable capacity in the United States is expected to increase by an astounding 65% between 2021 to 2026. In return, this forecast will add more than 200 GW by 2026. This is a 35% increase over the IEA's previous estimates, resulting from new local and state-led solar and renewable energy initiatives. Other factors contributing to the solar industry's acceleration include state-level renewable energy proposals, financial incentive-driven government programs on both state and federal levels, commercial and residential consumer demand, and increased corporate brand attractiveness when going green.
In addition to this acceleration, the solar industry has consistently produced job growth year after year. According to a 2020 report by The Solar Foundation, a non-profit organization, American solar jobs have increased by 167% over the last decade. This is more than five times the national average for overall job growth in the United States. Currently in the US, there are over 250,000 solar workers in the market ranging from distribution, software development, manufacturing, project development, engineering, trade, and many other fields.
With new incentive programs and an established industry, we expect this growth trend to continue in the US economy and many other markets, including China and Europe, over the next decade.
If continuous efforts are made at state and federal levels, the solar industry will be able to meet our global climate change initiatives faster than anticipated, while also revolutionizing the way we consume and think about energy.