US to announce US$7 billion rooftop solar programme on Earth Day 2024

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The announcement is to be made in conjunction with Earth Day 2024. Image: Summit Ridge Energy.

The US government will announce US$7 billion in grants for residential solar projects, which will power more than 900,000 low-income households in the US.

The announcement will be made by president Joe Biden in Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia to celebrate Earth Day 2024 on 22 April. The White House said Biden will announce US$7 billion in grants through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All grant competition, a key component of the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) US$27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

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Recipients of the grants will serve every state and territory in the US by developing “long-lasting” solar programmes, delivering residential solar power to about one million households in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

The US government estimated that the scheme will save more than US$350 million in electricity costs annually, equivalent to US$400 per household.

The programme will also be part of the US government’s goal to direct 40% of federal clean energy investment benefits to disadvantaged communities.

Rooftop solar’s production capacity increased by ten times between 2012 and 2022 in the US, as small-scale solar generation grew rapidly from 5,959GWh in 2012 to 61,281GWh in 2022, driven by the rapid uptake of installations on homes. In 2022, residential solar systems generated 39,510GWh, or 64% of all electricity from small-scale solar installations in the US, while commercial produced a total of 17,724GWh.

Although the increase in rooftop solar generation only covered 1.5% of all electricity used in the US, rooftop solar could generate electricity equivalent to about 45% of all national electricity sales at the 2022 level of demand.

PV Tech publisher Solar Media will be organising the third edition of Large Scale Solar USA Summit in Austin, Texas 1-2 May. With the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) targeting US$369 billion for clean energy and US$40 billion for manufacturing, the solar industry has never been brighter. The IRA, securing financing for future projects or supply chain bottlenecks will be among the discussions at this year’s event. For more information, including how to attend, please go to the official website.
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