Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center
America has virtually limitless potential to tap the energy of the sun. Solar energy is clean, safe, proven and available everywhere, and the price of many solar energy technologies is declining rapidly. By adopting solar energy on a broad scale, the nation can address our biggest energy challenges—our dependence on fossil fuels and the need to address global warming—while also boosting our economy.
America has the potential to obtain a large and increasing share of our energy from the sun. In the near term, America should set the ambitious goal of obtaining 10 percent or more of our total energy consumption from the sun by 2030, using a wide variety of technologies and tools.
Achieving that target would result in the sun providing us with more energy than we currently produce at nuclear power plants, more than half as much as we currently consume in our cars and light trucks, or nearly half as much as we currently obtain from burning coal.
A comprehensive suite of public policy strategies can remove many of the common barriers to solar energy development and help to make this vision a reality.