In recent years, the cost of solar energy has plummeted and demand has escalated due to consumer support for clean energy and the value it adds to a property owner’s land and rural communities. However, in the U.S., solar energy provided less than 4% of the country’s electricity in 2020.
Last week, the Biden administration announced a plan to procure 45% of the country’s electricity from the sun by 2050. However, the pathway to achieving the set goal will be up to Congress as the administration has only released a general outline for the plan thus far.
This ambitious target is a step toward countering the climate crisis and could bring major economic opportunities for rural America.
As plans are put into place to achieve the goal, solar developers will look to rural communities for project sites. Construction of solar energy can bring numerous benefits to rural communities, including tax generation that is invested back into the local community, new revenue generation in the form of direct land lease payments to property owners, opportunities for conservation, and job creation related to the development, construction, maintenance, and operation of the project.
While solar energy development has increased significantly over the last few years, Biden’s new target will accelerate the deployment of clean energy and provide big benefits to rural communities where solar energy is developed.