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US reaches a new clean energy milestone, with 5 million solar projects installed

Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Science & Technology News

When Peter Gorr got his first solar roof in 2011, he didn’t know what to expect.

But installation went smoothly, the smooth black panels lowered his electric bills, and Gorr — who is very concerned about climate change — relished the opportunity to lower his carbon footprint.

He recalled with a chuckle how his wife, Susan, kidded him when he initially hesitated to turn on the air conditioner on a 90-degree day.

“What are you saving — sunbeams?” she asked.

Gorr, who has since moved to a ranch in Deer Park — and installed his second solar roof — is part of a wave of homeowners who have helped the U.S. reach a new clean energy milestone.

The nation now has more than 5 million solar installations, most of them on residential rooftops, the Solar Energy Industries Association announced on Thursday.

 

The announcement comes just eight years after the nation reached 1 million installations,SEIA said in a news release.

“Solar is scaling by the millions because it consistently delivers on its promise to lower electricity costs, boost community resilience, and create economic opportunities,” SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said in the release.

“Today 7% of homes in America have solar, and this number will grow to over 15% of U.S. homes by 2030,” she said. “Solar is quickly becoming the dominant source of electricity on the grid, allowing communities to breathe cleaner air and lead healthier lives.”

Over 25% of U.S. solar installations have come online since the Inflation Reduction Act became law 20 months ago, according to data released by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie, a research and consulting firm.

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