June 22, 2024
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Biden Announces $7 Billion Grants for Solar Power

U.S. President Joe Biden has unveiled a significant initiative on Earth Day, announcing $7 billion in grants aimed at assisting over 900,000 low-income households in installing residential solar power systems.

The White House highlighted this move as a crucial step in addressing the climate crisis, reducing costs for American families, and fostering job creation.

The grants, drawn from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All grant competition, are a key component of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

The selected recipients are expected to provide residential solar power to disadvantaged communities, leading to significant savings in electricity costs, amounting to over $350 million annually or approximately $400 per household.

Moreover, the rooftop solar program is projected to prevent more than 30 million metric tons of carbon pollution over the next 25 years.

The competition saw significant interest, with 150 applications received, culminating in the selection of 60 applicants through a rigorous multistage review process, as highlighted by Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe.

This announcement comes amidst a broader trend of growth in the U.S. solar industry, with solar installations accounting for over 50% of new electricity capacity added to the grid in 2023, a milestone in the industry’s history.

However, challenges persist, particularly in California, the largest residential solar market in the U.S.

Recent policy changes by the California Public Utilities Commission, shifting from retail rate “net metering” to a new “net billing” structure, are expected to significantly impact the residential solar market in the state.

This adjustment, reducing the value of rooftop solar credits by about 75%, is projected to contribute to a 36% decline across all segments of the residential solar market in California in 2024, according to SEIA and WoodMac.

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