Solar and Wind Power Are Set to Take Off in 2021
Part of President Biden’s focus during his presidential term will be climate change. And he’s already started to act on this by rejoining the Paris climate agreement.
The growth of renewable energy during the last administration was a tepid 9%. But under Biden, the industry could see rapid advancement.
He favors renewable energy, likely more than any president in our nation’s history.
And he has to. The planet depends on it.
Climate change is a global problem. And since the U.S. is part of the problem, it must also be part of the solution.
But fixing this problem is more easily said than done. We must move away from fossil fuels and embrace clean energy.
Moving our surface transportation toward electric vehicles is part of the solution. And getting our electricity from clean, renewable sources is another.
And luckily, we’re already heading in the right direction.
Harnessing the Wind
Today, there are more than 60,000 wind turbines spinning across the U.S. These are generating 111.8 gigawatts (GW) of energy.
They are the third-largest source of generation capacity in the U.S. They make enough power to serve the energy needs of 34 million homes. The sector also generates $1.6 billion in tax revenue annually for state and local governments.
U.S. offshore wind is set to really take off this year. Every Atlantic Coast state from Maine to Georgia has offshore wind projects in the works. Right now, there are 17 offshore wind projects in planning and permitting stages. And that’s just the beginning.
The Atlantic continental shelf is an ideal place for offshore wind. It’s a wind resource with a potential energy capacity of 2,000 GW.
To put that in perspective, the total generating capacity of the U.S. today is about 1,200 GW with about 384 GW of new generation capacity in development.
From 2025 onward, offshore wind will be one of the brightest stars in America’s renewable power portfolio. We could see additions averaging more than 4 GW every year by 2027.
Solar’s Bright Future
The other renewable energy really set to take off is solar. Solar farm additions will average 19 GW each year through 2030.
Like the cost of wind power, the cost of solar power has plummeted over the last decade.
Today, utility-scale solar farms in the U.S. generate more than 42 GW of solar energy. That’s enough to power 9.7 million homes.
The solar industry is also a big employer. There are 70,000 utility-scale solar jobs held by hard-working Americans across all 50 states.
Solar energy is helping transform the nation’s electrical grids. And more than $100 billion has been invested in U.S. utility-scale solar projects so far.
In 2020, even with a pandemic, the U.S. saw a record 19 GW of new solar capacity installations. That’s 43% year-over-year growth.
And over the next five years, the U.S. solar market could see more than 107 GW of new capacity come online. I think we could see even more.
The renewable energy disruption of the global power supply is just getting underway. Savvy investors will want to load up.