How Solar Will Affect the US Economy
The United States, the world’s largest economy, has been heavily reliant on fossil fuels. The country produces a third of the world’s oil and coal and is responsible for 1/5th of the world’s emissions. However, in recent years, the US has seen an increase in solar power production. Solar power production is expected to continue to grow with an annual growth rate of 7% until 2040. In 2016, solar accounted for just under 2% of all electric generation in the US, but it is projected that by 2050 it will account for up to 18%. of the country’s electric generation.In 2017, US solar power production grew by 44%, and it is projected that this trend will continue with an annual growth rate of 12.5% until 2040.
Part of the reason for this increase in production is that solar power costs have decreased significantly in recent years. In 2010, a typical solar installation cost. $6.67/watt, but by 2017, this cost had decreased to $2.46/watt. The United States has been a net importer of oil since 2008 and the decline in oil production in the US from the 2010 peak is expected to continue through 2019 before beginning to increase slightly in 2020 as new technologies are implemented, and older fields become depleted.