In this week’s news roundup, we discuss an important proposal in US regulatory policy towards solar and a new study on the cost of solar versus that of fossil fuels
The Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act introduced in the Senate
In an effort to boost domestic manufacturing of solar panels, Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia) recently introduced legislation for review that would establish a tax credit for solar panel manufacturing. The bill would incentivize different solar panel components at different rates. According to PV Magazine, solar panels would receive a credit of 11 cents (multiplied by their total wattage), and solar cells would receive a credit of four cents (multiplied by the capacity of the cell). Solar wafers would be credited at $12 per square meter, and solar-grade polysilicon would receive a credit of $3 per kilogram.
Senator Ossoff’s office reported that the bill’s goals were to rapidly boost American solar manufacturing, create clean energy jobs, accelerate the transition to clean energy, and support American energy independence.
IREA study reveals most renewable energy projects installed in 2020 were cheaper than the next most competitive fossil fuel
A recent study done by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA) found that 62 percent of wind and solar projects installed in 2020 were built and operated at a lower cost than the most competitive fossil fuel. The study also found that solar start-up and operational costs dropped 16 percent in 2020, offshore wind costs dropped nine percent, and onshore wind costs dropped 12 percent. The results of this study highlight the fact that large scale solar arrays are becoming a more accessible way for utilities and their customers to experience the financial and environmental benefits of going solar.
Regarding the results of the study, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera stated:
“Renewables present countries tied to coal with an economically attractive phase-out agenda that ensures they meet growing energy demand, while saving costs, adding jobs, boosting growth and meeting climate ambition. I am encouraged that more and more countries opt to power their economies with renewables and follow IRENA’s pathway to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”