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Heating and cooling with solar could save billions

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) believes the nation could save $61 billion in energy costs by 2050, creating 50,250 jobs along the way.

The U.S. could achieve those goals by vastly expanding the solar heating and cooling capacity (SHC) across the country, according to a SEIA reportSolar Heating & Cooling: Energy for a Secure Future, released this month. Installing 100 million new SHC panels nationwide would increase SHC capacity from nine gigawatts (GW) to 300 GW in the next 37 years, according to the report prepared by Boston-based BEAM Engineering.

The country’s nine GW of SHC capacity ranks it just 36th in the world, relative to its population.

“With ambitious targets and a smart, easy-to-understand strategy now in place, SHC can help to displace an estimated 226 million tons of carbon emissions annually,” task force chair Ole Pilgaard said. “That’s the equivalent of taking 47 million passenger cars off the road.”

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