The steady growth of renewable energy has continued despite the supply chain issues and rising costs that are hitting many industries.
During the pandemic, the worldwide use of coal, gas, and oil dropped while renewable energy continued to increase. Solar power grew 23 percent in 2020, while wind power grew 12 percent.
This year, momentum continued due to affordability. For the first time, renewable energy became cheaper than existing coal power.
A new report is predicting the solar industry will grow 25 percent less than previously expected in 2022, yet experts anticipate that the Build Back Better Act could be a major market stimulant for the industry.
This legislation would allow the solar industry to continue its growth trajectory by pushing domestic manufacturing and helping to relieve supply chain issues.
Despite the newest predictions, U.S. installed capacity has risen 33 percent year over year to 5.4 gigawatts.
Falling costs have been the largest factor in the growing solar industry. In the past decade, the price of installing solar capacity declined by 34 percent each time the worldwide capacity doubled.
As renewable energy becomes more popular, it attracts more finances and widens its political influence, experts say.
Experts also say renewable energy is “socially contagious,” and if one home were to install solar panels on the roof, other neighbors are likely to try it themselves.
The report also showed that residential solar installations reached 1 GW in the third quarter. A record 130,000 systems were installed during the quarter.
Solar costs have risen more significantly across utility and commercial segments than residential.
Experts say the Build Back Better Act would create long-term certainty of growth for the industry. The report predicts the U.S. would install 43.5 GW of solar capacity between 2022 and 2026 if the bill is signed.
Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said with the Build Back Better Act, U.S. solar capacity would triple over the next five years and offset 83 million metric tons of carbon.
Solar companies seeking to expand efforts might first target cities with 100 percent renewable energy targets. So far, more than 600 cities around the globe have these targets, and 165 countries want to increase renewable energy.
When it comes to effective sales leads, marketing experts caution to keep in mind the nature of making the decision to switch to renewable energy. Real-time efforts may be less valuable than long-term leads.
While the passing of the bill accounts for much of the most significant growth predictions, experts are confident in the growing global demand of solar energy.