The DOE‘s Sunshot Vision Study provides an in-depth assessment of the potential for solar technologies to share a significant portion of electricity demand in the United States in the coming decades.
Using NREL‘s Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) and Solar Deployment System (SolarDS) models, the SunShot Vision Study provides least-cost geographical deployment of solar technologies, among other technologies.
The study is meant to be the most comprehensive review of the potential for U.S. solar electricity generation to date. The study was initiated by the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) and managed by NREL.
Of the findings in the study, the cost of solar plays the most important role. Price is one of the main barriers to a widespread adoption of solar energy technologies. The SunShot Vision study explores a scenario in which the price of solar reduces by 75% from 2010 to 2020. Lowering the cost would give solar energy technologies a competitive advantage, an advantage that the SunShot Vision Study says would mean 14% of our power would come from solar in 2030, 27% by 2050.
Here are some other key findings in the study:
Achieving the SunShot price targets is projected to result in the cumulative installation of approximately 302 gigawatts (GW) of PV and 28 GW of CSP by 2030, and 632 GW of PV and 83 GW of CSP by 2050.
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