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Sun Power Surges: A Bright Outlook for Solar Energy


Ground mount solar panels in a grassy field

The SUN DAY Campaign took a peek at the latest scoop from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and guess what? Solar power is still rocking the charts as the go-to for new electricity generation in the U.S. For six months straight, solar has been owning the scene, with February 2024 seeing it grab a whopping 83.64% of the new capacity. And wind? Well, it's not far behind, showing some serious growth that even surprised FERC.


Check this out: in the first two months of 2024, solar brought in 78.50% of the new juice, with wind adding 20.34%. It's been a trend since September 2023, with solar leading the charge, sometimes letting wind sneak in second, while natural gas only occasionally gets a slice of the pie.


Solar's got its foot in the door now, claiming 8.21% of the total installed utility-scale generating capacity, even leaving hydropower in the dust. Wind's got a cool 11.77%, and if you lump all renewables together, they make up almost 30%. Just a year back, solar was only at 6.63%, so you can see how it's been hustling.


Sure, solar's not quite top dog yet; it's hanging out in fourth place behind natural gas, coal, and wind. But hold onto your hats because FERC predicts that in three years, solar could be leaving wind and coal in the dust.


FERC's forecasting a mega boost in solar power from 2024 to 2027, with a "high probability" of adding a whopping 87,749 MW, way more than what's expected for wind. And get this: while coal and gas are expected to chill out, solar's party's just getting started.


If FERC's crystal ball is right, by 2027, solar could be flexing its muscles, making up over 14% of the nation's electricity generation, leaving coal and wind in the rearview mirror. And if we throw in distributed solar, which is basically solar panels on rooftops, the future's even brighter. With all that sunshine power, we could be looking at renewables outpacing gas.


The head honcho at the SUN DAY Campaign, Ken Bossong, is pretty stoked about solar's success. He's thinking solar has what it takes to keep smashing records and leading the charge, with renewables, including our buddy distributed solar, giving gas a run for its money in no time.


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