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Solar news: May 15th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, renewables are projected to produce more than coal in the U.S. for the first time ever, and a summary of our new report on consumer and installer sentiment during COVID-19 times.

Renewables on track to outpace coal in energy production in the U.S. for the first year on record

For the first time ever, renewable energy production may outpace coal in the United States, according to the most recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections. The continuously falling prices of wind, solar, and natural gas and the current coronavirus outbreak has pushed more and more coal plants to retire in the past few years, leading to a drop in their share of our power mix. 

According to the EIA report, the total consumption of coal in America will fall by about one-quarter this year and coal plants will provide about 19 percent of total electricity to the country, below both nuclear and renewables. These drops have real impacts when it comes to emissions – the EIA expects America’s emissions to fall by 11 percent, the largest drop in 70 years. The coronavirus pandemic makes these numbers more uncertain, but coal plants running less often is the main driver in the decline. Coal’s continuing phaseout has already helped reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 15 percent since 2005.

EnergySage releases report on consumer and installer mindsets during the COVID-19 crisis

Here at EnergySage, we’ve been closely monitoring the solar industry during COVID-19 times, especially when it comes to what solar shoppers and installers are thinking about their projects. We’ve released a report summarizing our surprisingly positive findings, which you can download for free.

For an overview of the key points from the report, check out our CEO’s article on LinkedIn. Here are some of the key points highlighted:

  1. People are spending more time at home and are more aware of their energy usage: Many open text responses from throughout the country paint a picture of increasing consumer awareness of their energy consumption concurrent with an increase in their monthly electricity bills.

  2. Consumers are seeking resilience and control: Nearly two-thirds of consumers say that the COVID-19 situation is accelerating their plans to become more energy-resilient, while three-fifths of the installers we surveyed say they have noticed an increase in consumer interest in battery storage.

  3. People want to lower their electricity bills due to current financial constraints: More than half of respondents anticipate that their income will decrease due to COVID-19. At the same time, 60% anticipate that their electricity bills will increase. Consumers see solar as a mechanism to bridge this gap and as an opportunity for both near- and long-term savings.


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