The analysis, entitled Expectations for Renewable Energy Finance in 2020-2023, presents the results of a new survey of prominent financial institutions and renewable energy development companies on their confidence in the sector amid the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
The report also tracks progress on the $1 trillion 2030: American Renewable Investment Goal ($1T 2030), which is an initiative ACORE launched in 2018 to help secure $1 trillion in private sector investment in renewable energy and enabling grid technologies by 2030. One trillion dollars of investment over 2018-2030 would represent more than two times the historic investment in the US renewable sector before the campaign and more than double our existing renewable capacity, bringing us closer to meeting climate goals.
After a record level of investment in 2019 that was driven by phasedown schedules for the federal tax credits, expanded state renewable energy standards, improved cost competitiveness and increased demand, one eighth of the total $1 trillion campaign goal has officially been met. To achieve the remaining investment by 2030, an average of $87.5 billion a year will need to be invested through 2029 – an annual increase of 28 percent over the 2019 investment level. However, as the report indicates, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession and recent policy developments have created near-term headwinds for sector investment, slowing the pace of growth in 2020.
“While it’s clear we’ve made important progress toward our goal, achieving $1 trillion of private sector investment by 2030 will require policies that allow the renewable industry to grow through the challenges associated with the pandemic” said ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. “Fortunately, as our survey results show, the fundamental health of the sector is strong and renewable energy remains one of America’s most attractive investment options.”
To gain a better understanding of the expected environment for renewable sector finance over the next three years, ACORE surveyed leading financial institutions and renewable energy development companies.
Key survey findings include:
Investors and developers report continued confidence in the growth of renewable energy and energy storage over the next three years
The United States remains an attractive venue for investment in renewable energy compared to other leading countries
Energy storage ranks as the most attractive sector for investment between 2020 and 2023, followed closely by utility-scale solar and residential/commercial solar
The majority of surveyed investors do not expect significant long-term impacts from COVID-19, but half of the surveyed developers report that their immediate development plans have changed significantly
Three-quarters of surveyed tax equity investors predict a decline in tax equity investment, and two-thirds of surveyed developers report difficulty in securing financing or project offtakers due to COVID-19
ACORE concludes that achievement of the $1T 2030 goal will require market and policy changes, including measures to help the sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.