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Electrek: US Solar Sets A Q1 Record, But There May Be Trouble Ahead

Posted by Michelle Lewis on Jun 15, 2021

Electrek summarized the record set by the solar industry in the first quarter of 2021 and financial issues facing solar in different parts of the U.S., citing a comment from AEE’s Lisa Frantzis. Read snippets below and the full article here.

The US solar industry installed 5 GW of new capacity in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021. It’s a new Q1 record, and a 46% increase over Q1 2020…

But there’s a wrench in the works – rising costs in the solar industry. Key inputs for solar modules and installations, including polysilicon, steel, aluminum, semiconductor chips, copper, and other metals, are facing supply constraints. Compounding cost increases across all materials started at the end of Q1 and are beginning to affect installers now.

Texas… led all states with 1.52 GW of new solar capacity in Q1, more than it added in all of 2019 and three times more than any other state. It was followed by California (563 MW) and Florida (525 MW).

Evergy, Kansas’s largest electric utility, will invest in 700 megawatts of solar energy over the next three years and says it will reduce carbon emissions 70% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels, and reach net zero by 2045.

So there’s a push and pull between green energy advocates and fossil-fuel supporters. Kansas Republicans worry about cost and blackouts without fossil-fuel backups, and green energy supporters say switching to clean energy without coal and gas backup is not only good for the environment, but also more cost effective.

Lisa Frantzis, senior managing director for Advanced Energy Economy, said:

Most utilities see the handwriting on the wall. The customers — their ratepayers — are requiring it and we’re even seeing even more and more pressure from financial institutions.

Read the full article here.

Topics: AEE In The News