Chart shows solar power generation at utility scale facilities since 2007
Nicolas Rapp

Why the Solar Industry Doesn’t Need the Paris Agreement

Jun 30, 2017

President Trump may have pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement earlier this month, but renewables already have a foothold in America’s energy landscape—and the industry’s outlook is sunny.

Solar power generation has soared in recent years (see graphic above), and in March, for the first time ever, wind and sun collectively accounted for more than 10% of the nation’s electricity. Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently estimated that in 2040, that figure will stand at 34% due to falling costs and efficiency improvements.

Nor are renewables just a blue state business. Texas leads the nation in terms of generating wind and solar power, while Republican-leaning Iowa relies most heavily on those renewables—37%—for its own electricity generation. Kansas and Oklahoma rank second and third, gleaning 30 and 25%, respectively. Even coal enthusiast and climate change-skeptic Trump recently showed some openness to clean power when he floated plans to line his proposed Mexican border wall with solar panels.

A version of this article appears in the June 15, 2017 issue of Fortune with the headline "Solar Power Booms."

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