One year into its campaign to reach $1 trillion in US private sector investment in renewable energy and enabling grid technologies by 2030, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is releasing a progress report tracking US renewable investment and assessing the policy and market pathways needed to achieve $1T 2030: The American Renewable Investment Goal.
Courtesy of NREL
The new report also includes an updated survey of America’s leading financial institutions that reports high near-term confidence for renewable energy growth over the next three years and a strong appetite for increased investment.
“Renewable energy remains one of the most attractive investment options in America today” said Gregory Wetstone, ACORE’s President and CEO. “Over the long-term, however, the renewable sector is going to need predictable policy drivers, competitive power markets and a modernised grid to meet its potential and answer Americans’ growing calls for a clean energy economy.”
In 2018, the private sector invested more than $56.7 billion in US renewable energy ($48 billion) and enabling grid technologies, including energy storage ($8.2 billion).
Among the key findings of ACORE’s new survey gauging investor confidence in the US renewable energy sector:
Investors’ confidence in renewable energy sector growth over the next three years remains high, with an average confidence level of 77/100
Renewable energy maintains its attractiveness compared with other asset classes in respondents’ portfolios
Most 2019 survey respondents indicated that the US continues to be an attractive venue for investment compared with other leading countries
More than one-third of survey respondents plan to increase their investments in US renewables by more than 10 percent in 2019 compared to 2018; no respondents reported that they would decrease their investments by more than 5 percent
Utility-scale solar and energy storage tied as the most attractive renewable energy investment options between 2019 and 2022, with onshore wind close behind
Investors cited the low cost of renewable energy, expanded state renewable portfolio standards, increased demand from corporate end-users, the potential for new carbon legislation, and a rush to benefit from the tax credits before they sunset among their main reasons for optimism over the next three years
The report outlines the progress that has been made since the $1T 2030 campaign launched in June 2018, including the adoption of ambitious renewable portfolio standards in multiple states. Over the past several weeks, a number of federal legislative proposals have also been introduced that could have important impacts for the renewable sector. These bills include a new tax credit for energy storage, new national renewable energy and clean energy standards, a federal price on carbon emissions, and a technology-neutral tax credit for carbon-free electricity generation.
The report concludes with ACORE’s near-term strategic focus toward achievement of the $1T 2030 goal, which includes acceleration of energy storage deployment, modernisation of power markets, and an expanded marketplace that includes a broader pool of investors and buyers.