DOE Releases Solar Futures Study

On September 8, 2021, the Department of Energy released its Solar Futures Study, which explores the role of solar energy in transitioning to a carbon-free electric grid in accordance with President Biden’s decarbonization goals. The study was produced by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Among other key findings, DOE concluded that solar energy could account for as much as 42% of the nation’s electricity supply by 2035 and 45% by 2050. The study is broken into eight chapters: Introduction and Summary of Results; Solar Futures Scenarios; Reliably Integrating More than a Terawatt of Solar onto the Grid; Understanding the Role of Solar Through the Lens of Equity; Synergies Between Solar and Storage; Technology Advances for Increased Solar Deployment; the Role of Solar by End-Use Sector; and Key Considerations for the Solar Supply Chain, Environment, Circular Economy, and Workforce.