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GHG Emissions Control Drives the Hydrogen-based Vehicle Market

global trade vehicle

GHG Emissions Control Drives the Hydrogen-based Vehicle Market

Introduction

Natural resources and fuel reservoirs are depleting rapidly. With this effect in the background, the demand for sustainable alternatives is expected to grow. In the context of adhering to such alternatives, many organizations are finding key solutions that can not only fulfill the energy requirement but also satisfy strict environmental standards.

Read also: The Growing Green Hydrogen Market: A Sustainable Energy Revolution

Such innovations have led to a better scope for various sectors and allied realms, which augment the global landscape. Companies operating in such ecosystems innovate in order to meet different guidelines and maintain profitability.

As an alternative to traditional fuel systems, the automobile industry is shifting toward sustainable fuel sources. This trend is augmenting the competitive space as key players in the sector differentiate products based on such demand trends.

The hydrogen-based vehicles market is a prime example, which is influenced due to different trends. Let us delve deep into the assessment of the ecosystem, and various drivers proliferating the growth and opportunities for key players in the sector.

The global hydrogen-based vehicle market size was recorded at USD 1.5 billion in 2023. With the whopping development ratio nearing a CAGR of 30.8% during the forecast period, the era promises the industry to reach a valuation mark of USD 30.8 billion by 2034.

With the accelerated depletion of natural resources, alternative fuel sources are required to be found. To cater to the demand for fuel a resource must be used, that not only fulfills the energy demand but also nurtures the environment. As a result, several alternative fuel resources have emerged, which gain traction based on the application of such fuels.

Alternative Fuel Resources: The Necessity Changed into a Driver

Leading automobile manufacturers are keen on the optimization of vehicles. The process can be achieved with numerous methods. Many manufacturers focus on the optimization of engines such that the vehicle provides better consumer comfort.

Despite the improvement in vehicular design, the necessity to find alternative fuel resources is rising. Due to the rapid depletion of crude oil and petroleum, the probability of future generations facing a shortage of oil reserves is higher.

The shift from conventional fuel resources to modern resources that can arrest rapid depletion and help manufacturers adhere to sustainability is observed. As a result, this shift in consumer trends is encouraging manufacturers to choose alternative fuel sources.

Along with maintaining environmental integrity, energy requirements must be comfortably met. All such parameters can be achieved with the adoption of such a fuel source that can meet such criteria. Hydrogen is an important fuel source that can fulfill all simultaneous demands, and therefore, the element is expected to gain more traction in the future.

The reactivity of the element is high, and thus, can be used to trigger multiple reactions, creating more energy in fewer resources. As hydrogen fuel does not create any environmental hazard, the element is expected to gain attention in the automobile industry.

Greenhouse Gases Reduction to Drive the Demand for Hydrogen-based Vehicles

After the combustion in the combustion chamber of an automobile, hydrogen does not produce any harmful emissions that can harm the environment. This key property of the element drives the popularity of Hydrogen in several realms.

The aim to reduce carbon footprints is encouraging several industries to curb carbon emissions. To cater to this demand, many firms have chosen alternatives that are sustainable and cost-effective.

In the case of the automobile sector, such parameters can be achieved with the help of controlling effluents and materials which are the key by-products of the process of combustion.

Aiming to reduce carbon footprints in the industry, a suitable alternative can be used, which can be a perfect replacement for hydrocarbons. The fuel must be capable of generating enough calorific value as that of hydrocarbons but at the same time, the fuel must not emit gases like carbon dioxide, sulfur gas, etc.

Hydrogen is a perfectly suiting alternative that can fulfil such criteria, and thus, the element is expected to gain traction in the industry. The elimination of such harmful effluents can help the automobile industry meet sustainability norms and guidelines designed by different governments.

Technological Growth: Research and Development Fuels the Realm of Hydrogen-base Vehicles

The rising technological infrastructure is aiding leading manufacturers to invest more in research and development projects. Leading players in the automobile market emphasize controlling the volatility of hydrogen.

Due to the extreme volatility of hydrogen, the threat to passengers and drivers is greater. More efforts must be taken to control this volatility in order to gain maximum benefits from the element.

With the growing government investments in the industry, research institutes are gaining momentum. The augmentation of hydrogen-based engines is likely to gain popularity after removing all anomalies.

The reduction of errors and shortcomings of existing engines can be possible with the help of continuous research and product development. The increasing support for such activities in the automobile industry is likely to drive the sector.

The Automobile Industry: A Driving Force influencing Hydrogen-based Vehicle Sales

Along with all the above mentioned factors, the growing population is driving the demand for efficient transport. Due to this spiking demand, the demand for the automobile industry is expected to rise in the next decade.

With constant evolutions and modifications in the existing vehicle models, many automobile manufacturers are emphasizing the augmentation of vehicles. The proliferation of the industry is expected to create prospects for key players.

The rising disposable income levels are increasing the affordability of premium products in the automotive industry. This is expected to surge the demand for high-end hydrogen-based vehicles, elevating the demand for the industry.

Conclusion

Owing to the growing environmental awareness, the demand for innovative yet sustainable solutions is expected to rise. Consumers have become more aware of environmental hazards that can be posed by using traditional solutions to a particular issue.

Pertaining to the automobile industry, the demand for sustainable fuel sources is expected to surge. To cater to stringent environmental guidelines, key players are shifting toward innovative solutions, hydrogen fuel being one of them.

With the growing technology, research processes are likely to proliferate. This surge in research and development is likely to lead to innovation, augmenting the subject industry. The growing investments in the sector are a coupling force that drives the augmentation of hydrogen-based vehicles.

Government initiatives to uphold the automobile sector along with reducing the carbon footprint are creating better prospects for the competitive space. With the emergence of hydrogen-based vehicles, the lucrativeness of the industry is high, creating prospects for new entrants.

The proliferation of the automobile industry is projected to support the growth of the market under consideration. Such supporting factors have been driving the progress of the ecosystem.

agrifood global trade

Changes in Agrifood Production Can Cut Greenhouse Emissions by a Third

A groundbreaking report from the World Bank unveils a powerful strategy to slash global greenhouse gas emissions by almost a third while ensuring food security and resilience for all. “Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System” outlines practical actions that can revolutionize the agrifood system, making it a pivotal player in combating climate change.

Read also: Red Sea Diversions Drive Surge in EU Maritime Carbon Emissions

Axel van Trotsenburg, Senior Managing Director of the World Bank, emphasizes the transformative potential of the agrifood sector: not only can it mitigate emissions, but it can also nurture healthier soils, ecosystems, and communities. By making strategic changes to how land is utilized for food production, emissions from the agrifood system could be slashed by a third by 2030.

Central to the report’s findings is the recognition that every country has a role to play in achieving climate goals. High-income nations can lead by example, redirecting subsidies away from high-emission food sources and investing in low-emission farming methods. Middle-income countries, meanwhile, hold significant potential to curb emissions through greener practices such as soil conservation and reducing food loss. Low-income nations can forge a path toward sustainability by prioritizing forest preservation and seizing climate-smart opportunities for economic development.

The report emphasizes that comprehensive action across all countries is imperative to reach net zero emissions. Investments totaling $260 billion annually will be required to halve agrifood emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. While this may seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the costs, with projected returns exceeding $4 trillion. These benefits encompass improved human health, food security, job quality, and profitability for farmers, alongside vital carbon sequestration in forests and soils.

In essence, the report highlights the immense potential of the agrifood sector to drive meaningful climate action while simultaneously safeguarding food supplies and livelihoods. By embracing sustainable practices and investing in transformative solutions, nations can pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable future for all.

ports global trade

Transforming America’s Ports: FHWA Grants Drive Clean Air Initiatives

At a White House event today, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and port leaders came together to commemorate nearly $150 million in grants from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities (RTEPF) Grant Program. These grants, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, mark a significant step towards improving air quality in and around 18 U.S. ports.

Cary S. Davis, President and CEO of AAPA, emphasized the importance of federal investment in reducing emissions while supporting economic prosperity. He expressed gratitude to Congress and the Biden Administration for their responsiveness to the advocacy efforts of ports and allied organizations.

USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlighted the detrimental effects of truck idling at ports on drivers, supply chains, and nearby communities. He stressed that the investments announced would not only save time and money for truckers but also reduce congestion and emissions, ultimately improving air quality for workers and residents.

Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt emphasized the dual benefits of the funded projects, improving the quality of life for those affected by truck emissions while contributing to a clean-energy economy and climate resilience. He underscored the importance of port-related trade for the economy and commended the investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Projects funded under the RTEPF program vary in scope, from substantial initiatives such as replacing diesel trucks and shuttle buses with zero-emission technology at the Port of Long Beach to smaller-scale efforts like replacing diesel street sweepers with zero-emission units and researching electric Power Take Off devices at the Port of Baltimore.

These grants represent a significant commitment to transforming America’s ports into hubs of sustainability and innovation, driving forward cleaner air initiatives while bolstering economic growth and resilience.

Find the full list of project awards here.

funding

Propane Council Encourages Ports to Apply for Funding

Grant funding applications are now open for safety, efficiency and reliability improvement projects.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) recently opened applications for the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). More than $600 million in grant funding is available for projects that include environmental and emissions mitigation measures and terminal equipment upgrades.

Heavy-duty diesel equipment in ports, such as forklifts and yard tractors, are a leading cause of air pollution within nearby communities. With this funding, ports can begin replacing their diesel and gasoline-powered equipment with clean energy alternatives such as propane-powered port tractors, forklifts, and other cargo handling equipment (CHE). In fact, best-in-class propane forklift engines produce 97 percent fewer hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions when compared with similarly sized diesel forklifts without any drop-off in payload or power.

Along with CHE upgrades, propane-powered charging infrastructure, such as mobile charging pods and anti-idling shore power technologies, are also eligible for funding. This is a cost-effective and low-emissions strategy to provide immediate clean energy power for CHE and other mobile equipment. Because propane is affordable, ports can more quickly implement clean solutions to accelerate emissions reductions. 

Propane-powered microgrid projects are also eligible for PIDP grant funding. Microgrids are local, isolated and independent electric grids that can be either grid connected or disconnected. The microgrids produce power with a combination of propane generation equipment and renewable sources like wind and solar. By combining ultra-low emissions propane with renewable energy sources, ports are able to significantly reduce emissions.

Beyond emissions reductions, propane-powered microgrids provide autonomy and resilience that keeps the lights on, assures equipment is charged and assists with making sure containers stay moving in the ports — even when the grid fails.

Qualified projects can be located within the port, outside a port boundary and directly related to port operations, or as an intermodal port connection. Grant applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. EST on April 28, 2023. For grant writing support, reach out to PERC at Propane.com/Contact.

There are many ways propane can help ports improve efficiency and reduce their carbon footprints. To learn more, visit Propane.com/Ports.

Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)

The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit Propane.com.

fuel

Propane Now Reducing Emissions Through Recharging Infrastructure

The dual-purpose standalone fueling system from Propane Fueling Solutions provides fleets with reliable solutions whether they refuel with propane autogas or need to recharge using a propane-powered microgrid

After decades of reliably providing fleets with a clean energy solution, propane is now reducing emissions along the path to zero even further by providing a significantly less expensive and cleaner recharging solution. The new portable dual-purpose standalone fueling system from Propane Fueling Solutions allows fleets with various alternative fuel vehicles to refuel with propane autogas or recharge with DC level 3 fast chargers independent of the grid.

The skid infrastructure combines an efficient 60kW propane generator with wind and solar power to create a microgrid that allows fleets to affordably implement a drop-in charging solution. The skid also includes a refueling station for propane autogas vehicles.

For light commercial microgrid (<100kW generation system) applications, propane fuel cells can lead to near-zero nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, as well as a 24 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Propane fuel cells are also cost-competitive with diesel generators.

Compared to traditional EV charging infrastructure, the skid solution is significantly less expensive than traditional EV charging infrastructure because it doesn’t require the same site prep, permanent housing, or other costly charges that are incurred with permanent infrastructure. According to Propane Fueling Solutions, the skid cuts costs by as much as 75 percent or more. Because of its affordability, the dual-purpose standalone fueling system allows fleets to try both propane autogas and electric vehicles—and learn about the capabilities and limitations of multiple energy sources—without making costly infrastructure investments.

The dual-purpose standalone fueling system will be on display in PERC’s booth (#353) at the NTEA Work Truck Show, March 7-10, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attendees who visit the booth can learn more about the ease of refueling or recharging with the infrastructure through guided demonstrations of the new technology.

Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)

The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry.

consortium urea bakken

Hyosung Makes Strategic Investment in Bakken Energy

South Korean Industrial Leader Supports Bakken Energy’s Hydrogen Initiatives

Bakken Energy, an innovative developer of affordable clean hydrogen at scale, announces Hyosung, a South Korean leader in hydrogen development, has joined Bakken Energy as a strategic investor.

Hyosung has recently become known for advancing technologies related to hydrogen vehicles, such as carbon fiber for fuel tanks and hydrogen charging stations. Hyosung operates in various fields, including the chemical industry, industrial machinery, IT, trade, and construction. Founded in 1966, Hyosung is a large family-owned South Korean industrial conglomerate.

This announcement is the next step towards Bakken Energy advancing its hydrogen mission. Most recently, Bakken Energy announced a partnership with Cummins Inc., and Schneider National Carriers Inc., to work together on the design of the Heartland Hydrogen Hub to serve the needs of long-haul trucking.

About Bakken Energy

Bakken Energy is an innovative clean hydrogen company working to become the largest producer of affordable clean hydrogen in the U.S. Its mission is to decarbonize the hard to decarbonize sectors of the economy with affordable clean hydrogen and to develop the future hydrogen economy that leads toward a low-carbon future.

About Hyosung

Founded in 1966, Hyosung has grown as one of the most prestigious conglomerates in Korea with approximately 20,000 employees and 15 billion dollars in combined group revenues (as of 2021). Hyosung engages in textiles, trading, industrial materials, chemicals, power & industrial systems, construction and information & communication businesses, and operates through more than 100 business sites across 29 countries.

AAL

AAL Carries out Six Month Series of Shipments for the New 181MW Dulacca Wind Farm in Queensland Australia

Between February and July 2022, AAL Shipping (AAL) is operating a series of shipments between several ports in China and Brisbane, Australia, to transport heavy lift and project cargo components for the 181MW Dulacca Wind Farm planned for development in Queensland, Australia – a plant expected to generate enough clean energy to power approximately 124,000 homes in the region.

Employed by multiple global logistics companies to manage the ocean transportation for some of the Wind Farm’s largest components, AAL’s shipments will comprise 43 Vestas wind turbines (towers and blades), transformers, and electrical cables – a total of close to 375,000 freight tons (FRT) of cargo.

Marco Wendt, Chartering Manager, AAL Europe, and spearheading AAL’s global wind cargo movements, revealed AAL has been working closely with Vestas and its appointed logistics partners for a number of years, serving many of its wind farm projects around the world on both a long and short-term employment basis adding that It was a privilege to have this position of trust on such important projects and the successful and safe delivery of customer’s cargo is a key objective for AAL and the teams worldwide.

Andrew Mangan, Chartering Manager, AAL, and coordinating the sailings into Australia from the carrier’s Singapore Headquarters, revealed that the shipments into Brisbane for Dulacca are being loaded from several Chinese ports including Tianjin, Taicang and Yangzhou and they are working with multiple logistics companies in their execution, each with their own specific timeline and cargo requirements. Which led them to therefore decide to utilize two different vessel classes on the project, ‘mega-size’ 31,000 deadweight (DWT) A-Class and the more compact 19,000 DWT S-Class to manage both large and small shipment sizes with as much efficiency and economy of scale for customers as possible.

The 181MW Dulacca Wind Farm is located between Dulacca and Drillham in the Western Downs Region of Queensland and will be powered by 43 Vestas wind turbines of 4.2MW rated capacity each. It will generate enough clean energy to power 124,000 homes and inject over AUD400m into the local economy.

The award of this project is a welcome recognition of AAL’s long-standing ‘Asia – Australia’ trade lane and expertise, which has served customers with a regular scheduled service for over 26 years.

carbon

States With the Least Carbon-Intensive Economies

World leaders convened in Glasgow this November for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Facing the intensification of global climate change, the negotiators reached an agreement that explicitly commits to reducing the use of coal, limiting other greenhouse gas emissions, and providing support to developing countries most impacted by climate change.

The Glasgow conference reflected heightened urgency around climate change as the effects of carbon emissions have accelerated and become more severe in recent years. A 2021 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that without rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, warming above 1.5°C is almost inevitable. This level of warming would have disastrous effects in the form of sea level rise, more severe weather events, and harm to agricultural systems and human health.

While there is still much work to do, the good news for the U.S. is that many states and the country as a whole have begun to reverse the growth in carbon emissions. Government policy to limit emissions and advancements in lower-emission technologies across the economy have helped turn the trends in the right direction.

Much of this progress has taken place over the last fifteen years. Total CO2 emissions peaked in 2007 at over 6 billion metric tons, but that figure fell to around 4.6 billion metric tons in 2020. One of the big contributors has been decarbonization in electric power generation due to the decline of heavy-emitting coal and the rise of clean energy sources like wind and solar. Over the last decade, these factors have reduced CO2 emissions associated with electric power generation by around 36%. And this trend also contributes to emissions reductions in the main “end-use” sectors—transportation, industrial, residential, and commercial—that consume electricity. Residential and commercial have seen the sharpest declines, with emissions dropping by more than a quarter since 2010 across both sectors combined.

Encouragingly, these declines have taken place even while the U.S. population and economy have continued to grow. From 1970 to the mid-2000s, carbon emissions and GDP grew together, with the pace of GDP growth exceeding that of carbon emissions. More recently, the steady upward trajectory of GDP has continued while carbon emissions have ticked downward. Since 2007, total energy-related CO2 emissions are down by 23.9% while real GDP has increased by 17.7% in the same span. These trends help alleviate concerns that reducing carbon emissions necessarily means limiting economic productivity, and many U.S. states are proving that economic growth in a less carbon-intensive economy is possible.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau. To determine the states with the least carbon-intensive economies, researchers at Commodity.com calculated total CO2 emissions per GDP. States with a lower value were ranked higher. In the event of a tie, the state with lower per capita CO2 emissions was ranked higher.

Here are the states with the least carbon-intensive economies.

State Rank CO2 emissions per GDP (tons per $ million) CO2 emissions per capita Total CO2 emissions (tons) Largest source of CO2 emissions
New York 1 123.6 9.0 175,900,000 Petroleum
Washington 2 135.9 10.2 77,000,000 Petroleum
Connecticut 3 136.8 10.5 37,600,000 Petroleum
California 4 148.0 9.0 356,600,000 Petroleum
Massachusetts 5 158.1 9.4 64,600,000 Petroleum
New Hampshire 6 158.9 10.5 14,300,000 Petroleum
Vermont 7 163.9 9.4 5,900,000 Petroleum
Oregon 8 164.5 9.5 39,900,000 Petroleum
New Jersey 9 198.0 11.9 105,400,000 Petroleum
Maryland 10 200.3 10.2 61,700,000 Petroleum
Rhode Island 11 206.5 10.5 11,100,000 Petroleum, Natural Gas
Hawaii 12 249.7 14.4 20,500,000 Petroleum
Arizona 13 252.1 13.1 93,900,000 Petroleum
Illinois 14 253.0 16.7 212,200,000 Petroleum
Maine 15 254.9 11.0 14,800,000 Petroleum
United States 287.2 16.2 5,297,400,000 Petroleum

 

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Commodity.com’s website: https://commodity.com/blog/states-carbon-emissions/

wind energy production

U.S. States Producing the Most Wind Energy

“Meteoric” is one way to describe wind energy’s rise to the top of America’s renewable energy industry.

Amid repeated calls from scientists and activists to undertake measures to curb global warming, lawmakers, politicians, and the energy industry have responded. Foremost in that effort is the call for carbon-free energy production via alternative energy sources like wind and solar. Many states have followed suit, with governors from coast to coast implementing wide-ranging initiatives meant to gradually reduce the carbon footprint of power generation in the coming years.

Wind generation is at the leading edge of the movement toward clean energy production. Fields of wind turbines across the country have slowly started to increase their proportion of total energy production. And just this year, President Joe Biden announced measures meant to accelerate the development of offshore wind energy.

While U.S. offshore wind production currently lags behind that of other developed nations, its onshore capacity is second only to China. Wind energy’s share of total utility-scale electricity generation in the U.S. grew from less than 1% in 1990 to about 8% last year.

In 2019, more than $13 billion was invested in wind power, and the amount of new generation capacity added to the nation’s electrical grids through wind projects was greater than all other sources except natural gas. Driving the investment may be the simple fact that it’s far cheaper to install wind farms than it is to build hydroelectric plants and solar farms. Alongside the value, the federal government subsidized wind construction with tax credits. The result? Wind generation exceeded hydroelectric power for the first time in 2019.

While tax credits and reasonable construction costs have increased wind’s popularity, perhaps its greatest advantage is availability. Wind regularly barrels across the Midwest and the Texas-Oklahoma border at average speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, a key speed range, as turbines reach their rated generation capacity when winds hit 26 to 30 miles per hour.

This explains why the Midwest and the West South Central region are home to the top wind-generated electricity producers in the nation. Texas leads the nation in total wind energy production, generating more than twice as much wind electricity as the next state. And while the Lone Star State’s wind energy makes up a significant portion of its renewable energy generation (92%), Kansas’ renewable energy generation relies on wind more than any other state. Kansas’ wind turbines produce more than 99% of its renewable energy and 42% of total.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. To determine the states producing the most wind energy, researchers at Commodity.com calculated each state’s annual wind energy production, measured in megawatt-hours. Researchers also calculated the absolute change in wind energy production since 2010, wind’s share of total energy production, and wind’s share of total renewable energy production.

Here are the states producing the most wind energy.

State Rank Annual wind energy production (MWh) Change in wind energy production since 2010 (MWh) Wind share of total energy production Wind share of total renewable energy production

 

Texas     1     83,620,371 57,368,961 17.3% 92.0%
Oklahoma     2     29,008,131 25,200,048 34.0% 87.2%
Iowa     3     26,304,990 17,134,653 42.0% 96.2%
Kansas     4     21,123,539 17,718,474 41.5% 99.6%
Illinois     5     14,459,597 10,005,963 7.8% 96.0%
California     6     13,735,069 7,656,437 6.8% 14.1%
North Dakota     7     11,213,025 7,117,384 27.3% 77.9%
Minnesota     8     10,964,869     6,173,146 18.5% 75.8%
Colorado     9     10,852,376     7,400,525 19.3% 77.3%
Nebraska     10     7,211,092     6,789,447 19.3% 83.2%
New Mexico     11     6,892,087     5,059,905 19.6% 81.1%
Washington     12     6,677,261     1,932,582 6.3% 9.0%
Oregon     13     6,568,889     2,648,882 10.6% 17.0%
Indiana     14     6,216,030     3,281,987 6.1% 85.7%
Michigan     15     5,825,705     5,465,365 5.0% 58.7%
United States     –     295,882,483     201,230,237 7.2% 40.6%

 

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Commodity.com’s website: https://commodity.com/blog/states-wind-energy/

solar energy

States Producing the Most Solar Energy

In the first few months of his administration, one of President Joe Biden’s top policy priorities has been addressing the threat of climate change—while also improving infrastructure and creating jobs to generate economic growth. Biden has stated a goal of reaching 100% pollution-free electricity by 2035, which means dramatically scaling up renewable energy production in the U.S. To that end, Biden’s proposed American Jobs Plan would include extensive tax credits, grants, and other investments in clean energy.

One of the potential beneficiaries of this focus is the solar power industry, which is seeing rapid growth as the costs associated with solar decline. For many years, solar power was too expensive to be adopted at scale as a major source of energy production, but this has changed in recent years.

One of the biggest reasons for the decline in costs has been technological innovation. Solar technology has become more reliable and more efficient over time, which lowers the cost of generating energy. As those costs decrease, adoption becomes more common, which allows solar cell manufacturers to achieve economies of scale and lower prices even further.

Government support has also been a major factor: billions in federal investment for renewables during the Great Recession helped spur the technological advances seen in the last decade, and the federal government—along with many states and localities—has long offered tax breaks and other incentives to subsidize household solar adoption.

These factors reached an inflection point in the mid-2000s, and solar production in the U.S. has been growing exponentially ever since. In 2006, solar generated around 507,000 megawatt-hours of energy and represented .01% of U.S. energy generated by the electric power industry. By 2019, solar thermal and photovoltaic accounted for 71,936,822 megawatt-hours—around 140 times more than in 2006—to represent 1.74% of the total.

Solar is still a relatively small part of the U.S.’s overall energy mix but will become an increasingly significant source as solar production continues to accelerate—particularly if the Biden Administration’s climate policies and clean energy investments come to pass. For now, however, renewables overall (17.7% of total electricity generation) still lag behind natural gas (38.4%), coal (23.4%), and nuclear (19.6%). Within the renewable category, solar (9.9% of renewable production) trails wind (40.6%) and hydroelectric (39.5%).

Despite its small but growing role in overall U.S. energy production, solar is a major part of the energy mix in a number of states. The undisputed leader of these states is California, which leads all others both by total solar energy production and the share of electricity derived from solar. California’s total solar energy production is nearly four times that of the runner-up state, North Carolina. Many of the market factors that have made solar more popular nationwide hold in California, too, but the Golden State also has geographic features and a political climate that have made it a solar leader.

In terms of geography, California is one of the U.S. states with the highest levels of insolation, or exposure to the sun. Insolation is a factor for many other leading states for solar production, including Sun Belt locations like Texas, Southwestern states Nevada and Arizona, and Southeastern states North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Politically, California’s policymakers have created an environment that all but guarantees heavy reliance on solar energy. For instance, California has one of the most ambitious renewable portfolio standards of any U.S. state, with a goal of generating 60% of energy from renewables by 2030 and 100% of energy from renewables by 2045. Additionally, in 2020, the state began requiring most new homes to include rooftop solar panels.

To find the states where solar production is highest, researchers at Commodity.com used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Electricity Power Data. States were ranked by annual solar production for electric power (in megawatt-hours) for 2019. The researchers also calculated the year-over-year change in total solar energy production from 2018–2019, as well as what percentage of total energy production and renewable energy production solar accounts for.

Here are the states producing the most solar energy.

State

 

Rank

 

Annual solar energy production (Megawatt-hours)

 

Change in solar energy production (YoY)

 

Solar share of total energy production

 

Solar share of total renewable energy production

 

California    1    28,331,513 +5.0% 14.0% 29.1%
North Carolina    2    7,451,338 +21.9% 5.7% 44.6%
Arizona    3    5,278,019 +2.7% 4.6% 43.0%
Nevada    4    4,810,511 +1.9% 12.1% 42.4%
Texas    5    4,365,125 +36.2% 0.9% 4.8%
Florida    6    3,901,445 +61.7% 1.6% 45.6%
Utah    7    2,186,424 -1.7% 5.6% 51.3%
Georgia    8    2,160,770 +8.3% 1.7% 18.8%
New Mexico    9    1,365,900 +1.3% 3.9% 16.1%
Minnesota    10    1,248,833 +19.8% 2.1% 8.6%
Colorado    11    1,218,220 +14.7% 2.2% 8.7%
New Jersey    12    1,164,721 +17.6% 1.6% 57.9%
Massachusetts    13    1,163,776 +19.0% 5.4% 34.7%
Virginia    14    949,111 +24.4% 1.0% 15.3%
South Carolina    15    858,546 +68.2% 0.9% 14.3%
United States    –    71,936,822 +12.7% 1.7% 9.9%

 

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Commodity.com’s website: https://commodity.com/blog/states-solar-energy/