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Solar Industry Highlights the Work that Lies Ahead After String of Policy Success

New data outlines growth trajectory for solar while public polling outlines challenges, opportunities

Monday, Sep 19 2022

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Press Release

ANAHEIM, Calif. — As the U.S. solar and storage industry gathers for the first time in three years at RE+ 2022, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is laying out a renewed vision for the next decade of clean energy advocacy after a chain of policy successes, from President Biden’s solar tariff proclamation to the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

According to new SEIA analysis, the IRA will double the solar and storage workforce to 538,000 workers over the next decade, while solar manufacturing employment will more than triple from roughly 30,000 jobs today to more than 100,000 jobs.

“SEIA helped deliver the most transformational clean energy bill in history, and now the real work begins,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “SEIA is keenly focused on implementation and is well-positioned to tackle the challenges that remain, including land use, recycling, ethical supply chains, workforce and more. Addressing these issues will require a thoughtful, comprehensive vision, and it’s incumbent upon the entire solar and storage industry to build support for this new clean energy era.”

New polling and message testing conducted for SEIA by the Global Strategy Group shows that while solar messaging is persuasive, the industry must overcome misinformation and double down on its economic and jobs messages to reach its goals in the Solar+ Decade.

In addition, SEIA is charting a path forward — both for private businesses and through further policy action — to tackle these challenges and spark the solar and storage deployment necessary to decarbonize the power sector and capitalize on recent advocacy success.

This strategy centers around SEIA’s vision for the Solar+ Decade and will focus on managing growth, mitigating risks, maximizing the effectiveness of the IRA and other key policy battles.

This includes:

  • Enacting smart, effective state-level policies,
  • Bolstering community engagement,
  • Scaling a diverse workforce,
  • Strengthening political influence,
  • Streamlining permitting, interconnection and transmission processes, and
  • Fostering a robust domestic supply chain and a life-cycle view of manufacturing.

The U.S. solar market is expected to produce over $600 billion in economic activity in the next decade, three-times more than it would have without the IRA. Over this period, emissions offsets from solar will increase from 139 million metric tons (MMT) annually to 492 MMT annually.

There is strong public support for clean energy. Solar is the most popular power source and 75% of respondents say they would welcome a solar farm in their communities, according to the message testing survey.

The IRA was passed on a narrow party-line vote. SEIA is working to preserve public support for clean energy by demonstrating the law’s positive impact on people and communities.

Learn more about SEIA’s polling and message testing.

Read SEIA’s new analysis about the IRA’s impact on its Solar+ Decade goal and President Biden’s clean energy targets.

Read SEIA's updated Solar+ Decade Roadmap.

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About SEIA®: 

The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is the national trade association for the solar and solar + storage industries, building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

Media Contact: 

Morgan Lyons, SEIA's Director of Communications, [email protected] (202) 556-2872

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