The White House has proclaimed that it desires to see solar power supply almost half of the electricity required by the United States in 2050. This would of course be wonderful if it were possible. Currently, however, solar power provide little more than 3% of electricity generated in the United States. Is it possible for solar to become the leading energy source within the next 30 years or is this merely a performative pipe dream espoused by the Biden Administration?
White House announces solar plans
Regardless of the veracity of claims about global warming there is obviously much to gain from the use of clean energy in the future.
Solar power in theory is unlimited and carbon free; fossil fuels are expensive and difficult to obtain in addition to being neither of these.
But is solar power ready to take the place of fossil fuels in the coming decades? Despite determined efforts from advocates, solar has not yet managed to contribute a significant portion of the energy required by the United States.
Other countries have exceeded the 3% achieved by the United States but none have approached a level which could indicate that solar could be viable to supply a majority of required power any time soon.
The energy not supplied by solar in 2050 is to be produced by wind and other extant clean power sources under the White House plan.
There is likewise no indication that wind or any other existing power source will be ready to contribute such a large share of the total required by 2050.
An unlikely expectation
The White House envisions solar power providing as much as 40% of the total electricity required by the country as early as 2035. This is only 14 years away.
It seems extremely unlikely that solar could go from providing only 3% to providing 40% of our electricity in such a short span of time, even with a dedicated effort from the federal government.
To even approach such an optimistic percentage would require a massive economic investment in a time in which the government is already massively in debt and facing a host of other challenges.
The White House is, among other concerns, faced with a looming inflation crisis which the Biden crisis appears to be entirely unprepared to handle.
Even if the plan were feasible it would require equal levels of dedication through multiple administrations until 2050. The United States government is not built to be capable of adopting such long-term projects.
A prediction of 45% solar energy for the United States by 2050 will sound very nice to environmentally conscious Americans. It is very unlikely to turn into anything more than a good campaign promise.