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Clean Power Solar Energy 10 percent by 2030 - Paris Sunset

Published on March 13th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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10% of Energy from Solar by 2030

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March 13th, 2010 by Zachary Shahan 

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Environment America (EA) released a report titled “Building a Solar Future” this week stating that the US should aim to obtain 10% or more of its total energy consumption from the sun by 2030.

Environment America found that “a comprehensive suite of public policy strategies can remove many of the common barriers to solar energy development and help to make this vision a reality.”

And if you look at where the US sits compared to other nations on solar energy and solar technology, you can see that it really needs to put these policies into practice.

Other than writing about the benefits of Photovoltaics (PV), Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), solar water heaters, solar space heating and cooling, solar space heating and cooling, and passive solar design, EA found that PV panels “can be installed on the roofs of 35-40 percent of homes nationwide, and solar heat collectors on 50 percent of residential roofs.” Additionally, 60-65% of commercial roof space across the nation is suitable for solar PV.

For businesses, the possibility of using natural light more has huge potential as well. “Walmart’s use of skylights in some its big box stores has cut energy costs by 15 to 20 percent by reducing the need for electric lighting.”

Powering transportation with solar power is also an issue EA brings up, whether it be buses, electric vehicles, golf carts or mini shuttles, or high-speed rail.

EA does not neglect to say, of course, that government policies need to be put in place to achieve these goals. From grants, taxes and feed-in tariffs to Renewable Energy Standards to PACE solar funding to advanced building codes to better rules and technology for net metering and selling power back to the grid to public education and workforce development to a smarter grid to continued R&D for solar technology, EA gives a comprehensive look at what is already being done and what needs to be done to achieve our solar energy potential.

Great report by Environment America! Hopefully, we will see governments follow through on these policy recommendations!

via Cooler Planet & Environment America

Image Credit: law_keven via flickr under a CC license

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Jon Husen

    I’m all for solar power, but if it necessitates grants and tax breaks to offset costs to make it viable, it’s probably not the best investment one could make. From an investment position, I think solar technologies should be viable on their own right before taking into consideration any outside fiduciary benefits. Grants and tax breaks should be considered extra benefits. Once costs and efficiencies are at a sufficient level, cost/benefit will become favorable, and solar technologies will begin to sell themselves.

    • http://lightngreen.com Zachary Shahan

      Jon,

      that is a good thought in theory. but our whole economy is already heavily influenced by government carrots & sticks, & the power industry is no exception.. in fact, dirty energy is much more heavily subsidized than clean energy, so until they are at least on equal footing, it is really not fair to make such a statement or such a demand.

      we should say, CLEAN ENERGY NEEDS TO GET THE SAME LEVEL OF SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT AS DIRTY ENERGY, AT LEAST!!! (don’t forget there are also externalities that the market doesn’t appropriately account for)

      http://ecopolitology.org/2010/03/08/think-renewables-need-huge-subsidies-federal-energy-subsidies-visualized/

  • Jon Husen

    I’m all for solar power, but if it necessitates grants and tax breaks to offset costs to make it viable, it’s probably not the best investment one could make. From an investment position, I think solar technologies should be viable on their own right before taking into consideration any outside fiduciary benefits. Grants and tax breaks should be considered extra benefits. Once costs and efficiencies are at a sufficient level, cost/benefit will become favorable, and solar technologies will begin to sell themselves.

    • http://lightngreen.com Zachary Shahan

      Jon,

      that is a good thought in theory. but our whole economy is already heavily influenced by government carrots & sticks, & the power industry is no exception.. in fact, dirty energy is much more heavily subsidized than clean energy, so until they are at least on equal footing, it is really not fair to make such a statement or such a demand.

      we should say, CLEAN ENERGY NEEDS TO GET THE SAME LEVEL OF SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT AS DIRTY ENERGY, AT LEAST!!! (don’t forget there are also externalities that the market doesn’t appropriately account for)

      http://ecopolitology.org/2010/03/08/think-renewables-need-huge-subsidies-federal-energy-subsidies-visualized/

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    I do think this is achievable, but with the current financial mess to deal with it’s going to be difficult to come up with the necessary funds and/or tax breaks.

    Sad to say from an American perspective, but by 2030 there will be many other countries that will have achieved this goal.

  • http://GlobalPatriot.com Global Patriot

    I do think this is achievable, but with the current financial mess to deal with it’s going to be difficult to come up with the necessary funds and/or tax breaks.

    Sad to say from an American perspective, but by 2030 there will be many other countries that will have achieved this goal.

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