Although Sun is by far the largest energy resource in the world, solar power still lacks the adequate development to be considered as one of the top energy sources. In United States solar power accounted for just around 0,1% in 2008, but nonetheless there are many people who believe that solar power will soon play a very important role in U.S. energy portfolio.
The 2010 report by the independent environmental group Environment America said that 10 percent of U.S. electricity could be provided from solar power by 2030 but in order to reach this percentage U.S. would have to ensure adequate legislation that would support further growth of the solar industry.
One of the best examples of adequate legislation that would support further growth of solar industry in United States was the proposed bill from Senator Bill Sanders under which 10 million solar panels should be installed across the United States within the next ten years, and in which he also proposes rebates for the purchase and installation of an additional 10,000,000 solar roofs by 2019. Sanders is convinced that such bill would help decrease traditional American dependence on foreign oil import, and it would also improve U.S. position in global clean energy race.
Solar energy sector has experienced rapid growth in the last 10 years by increasing at an average pace of 40% per year. One of the main factors responsible for this growth was the significant decrease in solar panel prices in the last couple of years. Some energy experts even believe that in less than five years from now solar power will reach cost parity with conventional power sources (fossil fuels) in many U.S. energy markets.
Despite the huge overall growth U.S. solar energy industry is losing competitiveness on global level. China is the world's largest producer of solar panels, and U.S. currently only produces 5% of world's solar cells while a decade ago this percentage was 8 times bigger.
The bills, like the ones proposed by Senator Saunders, if accepted, would give boost to domestic production of solar panels, and would likely ensure thousands of new green jobs. U.S. definitely needs to be more involved in clean energy race, and solar power is one of the most important sectors that will separate the winners from the losers in the global clean energy race.