Solar power, which accounted for 3 percent of U.S. electricity in 2020, will grow by around one percent per year in 2021 and 2022, according to the Energy Department.
Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer
The amount of power in the U.S. derived from solar energy continues to rise.
Solar power, which accounted for 3 percent of U.S. electricity in 2020, will grow by about 1percent per year in both 2021 and 2022, according to the Energy Department.
That figure jumps to 14 percent of the U.S. total in 2035 and to 20 percent in 2050, the EIA said.
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That includes electricity generated from utility-scale solar facilities with 1 megawatt or more of generating capacity and small-scale solar facilities with less than 1 megawatt.
Utility-scale solar generation has increased substantially in the U.S. during the past decade as average construction costs for solar power plants fell, the EIA said.
Currently, solar energy can generate electricity in two ways: solar photovoltaics and solar thermal.
Solar PV cells, such as rooftop solar panels, convert sunlight into electricity. Solar thermal facilities use mirrors to concentrate sunlight at a central receptor and produce the high temperatures needed to generate electricity with a steam-powered turbine.
Marcy de Luna is a business reporter for the Houston Chronicle.