US election result is a win for solar

After Trump, solar is expected to accelerate

US election result is a win for solar

The US election, the incredible Chinese return to economic health post Pandemic, and the varying reactions to the pandemic has completely restructured the global solar industry, according to a report by Rethink Technology Research.

The Rethink Energy report – “What a difference a day makes; Biden win triggers solar acceleration” – shows that the US now has the potential to go into overdrive on solar, and get close to a 500GW solar target by 2030 – held back only by the lack of a majority in the Senate.

But even a muted response by the Republican Senators would still likely see the US jump from predictions of a Solar capacity of 235GW, to one above 450GW, by 2030.

China as well will accelerate its solar installs on the back of promises yet to be enshrined in its 14th 5 year plan, but promised in a plan to reach zero emissions by 2060, likely to take annual solar increases in capacity from the 38.5GW anticipated for 2020, to above 80GW per annum by 2030. US growth will not far behind, likely to reach an annual solar install rate of 66GW by 2030.

The US will jump from 11% of the global solar module market to 19% when measured in cumulative installed solar. Any change to the tariffs on solar panels from President elect Joe Biden will either bring a rush of cheaper solar panels into the US, stimulating demand, or if he retains the tariffs in some form, it will power up US solar suppliers with a much larger market.

Critical to this success will be how Biden negotiates a refresh to the ITC solar tax credits, and whether or not he can swing a similar concession for solar plus storage. Biden should be able to create US jobs in renewables and EV charge points, sufficient to soak up all the unemployed from the pandemic as long as key pieces of legislation are passed.

China will separately add some 643GW of solar in the next 10 years, to end 2030 on 886GW, from 243 GW it is expected to reach at the end of 2020.

This report sees solar additions globally rise by 105GW during 2020, barely touched by the pandemic, with annual installs then going up by around 10GW each year until global installs in 2030 are more than 255.


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