Solar power could supply nearly half of U.S electricity by 2050 in a scenario where the U.S. reaches net-zero emissions, according to a new study by the Department of Energy.
The study outlines three possible scenarios including two in which the U.S. grid is 95% decarbonized by 2035 and an ambitious third one in which the grid is fully decarbonized by 2050.
One way to fulfill this third scenario would be to have solar power comprise 45 percent of electricity generation by 2050. In such a scenario, solar production would increase from 3% of power generation in 2021 to 40% by 2035 and 45% by 2050.
This scenario would depend on aggressive cost reductions, supportive policies and large-scale electrification.
The study provides only a broad roadmap that details what is required as part of an aggressive push to cut carbon emissions from an electric grid that at present relies heavily on natural gas and coal.
Much of the detail will, ultimately, be decided by Congress, which is currently working on a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a much larger Democratic spending package.