Report Finds Biden Election as a Trigger for Solar Acceleration

A new report shows how the US election, the Chinese return to economic health post-Pandemic have completely restructured the global solar industry.

Election Solar

A new report by Rethink Energy shows how 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.

The report “What a difference a day makes; Biden win triggers solar acceleration,” states that its most striking conclusion is that the US now has the potential to go into overdrive on solar, and get close to a 500 GW 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 235 GW, to one above 450 GW, by 2030.

It also adds that 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 38.5 GW anticipated for 2020 to above 80 GW per annum by 2030. US growth will not be too far behind, likely to reach an annual solar install rate of 66 GW by 2030.

The report highlights that the US will jump from 11 percent of the global solar module market to 19 percent 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 the 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. The report suggests that 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 643 GW of solar in the next ten years, to end 2030 on 886 GW, from the 243 GW it is expected to reach at the end of 2020. The report sees solar additions globally rise by 105 GW during 2020, barely touched by the pandemic, with annual installs then going up by around 10 GW each year until global installs in 2030 are over 255 GW.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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