Solar energy

In the past 12 years, American solar energy generation has grown from 3 gigawatts in 2010, to 131 gigawatts in 2022. During this time, solar panel prices dropped from over $2 per watt to just over $0.20 per watt – and this downward trend is expected to continue. Advances in technology are also expected to greatly increase solar panel efficiency. Creative financing, leasing and government subsidies have also contributed to industry growth which is doubling every 3 years. The average cost of an installed residential solar energy system is now $2.64 per watt, and a typical 6kW system costs about $12,000 after claiming the 26% solar tax credit. In 2022, solar energy supplied about 5% of U.S. electricity demand. Solar and wind power combined is expected to generate 24% of our energy needs this year.

Critics claim it will take decades for solar energy to compete with conventional power plants. However, supporters say the output of large solar farms now being constructed rival that of small nuclear power plants - without the waste, danger and expense. They also say solar energy is an important step in fighting climate change.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.1557 - Sunshine Forever Act (117th Congress 2021-2022)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Mike Levin (CA)

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Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

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