Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Commodity.com.
In the first few months of President Joe Biden’s administration, one of his top policy priorities has been addressing the threat of climate change — while also improving infrastructure and creating jobs to generate economic growth.
Biden has stated a goal of reaching 100% pollution-free electricity by 2035, which means dramatically scaling up renewable energy production in the U.S. To that end, Biden’s proposed American Jobs Plan would include extensive tax credits, grants, and other investments in clean energy.
One of the potential beneficiaries of this focus is the solar power industry, which is seeing rapid growth as the associated costs decline. For many years, solar power was too expensive to be adopted at scale as a major source of energy production, but this has changed in recent years.
One of the biggest reasons for the decline in costs has been technological innovation. Solar technology has become more reliable and more efficient over time, which lowers the cost of generating energy.
Solar is still a relatively small part of the nation’s overall energy mix but will become an increasingly significant source as solar production continues to accelerate — particularly if the Biden administration’s climate policies and clean energy investments come to pass.
For now, however, renewables overall (17.7% of total electricity generation) still lag behind natural gas (38.4%), coal (23.4%), and nuclear (19.6%). Within the renewable category, solar (9.9% of renewable production) trails wind (40.6%) and hydroelectric (39.5%).
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