America’s Renewable Energy Project Completions Stumble

Highlights :

  • Industrial Info Resources says that pandemic, supply-chain problems, lack of skilled workers, tariffs on imports etc slowed down wind and solar projects completion in the U.S.
  • The number of completed wind and solar projects in the U.S. peaked at 240 in 2019 before plummeting to 66 in 2021.

The Global Marketing Intelligence (GMI) platform of Industrial Info Resources (IIR) has found that the renewable power projects in the United States of America have slowed in the near past due to several reasons. It has said that various factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, supply-chain problems, lack of skilled workers, tariffs on imported materials and landowner pushback, have combined to dramatically slow the completion of wind and solar projects in the U.S. This follows a surprising resilience in 2020, when momentum was with renewables, it seemed.

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Britt Burt, Industrial Info Resources’ vice president of research for the global power industry, said, “There are various reasons for the slowdown in the completion of renewable energy projects in the US. Difficulty in obtaining financing, regulatory challenges, or a shortage of available capacity on the transmission grid are three long standing challenges to getting renewable generation built. The last few years have added a new set of headwinds.”

According to the Global Marketing Intelligence, the number of completed wind and solar projects in the U.S. peaked at 240 in 2019 before plummeting to 66 in 2021.

Also the wind and solar projects that were cancelled or deferred in the US rose from 95 in 2018 to 155 in 2021.

The total investment value (TIV) of completed wind and solar projects in the U.S. peaked at $46.2 billion in 2019. The investment then fell to $33.3 billion in 2020 and nose dived to $7.5 billion in 2021. Moreover, the dollar-value of renewable energy projects cancelled or deferred was triple the value of completed projects last year in 2021.

The market intelligence agency reveals that there are signs that the slowdown could become extended. Part of the slowdown in renewable energy completions could be because, after a prolonged period of heavy development, many of the best, most economic sites have already been developed.

It also said that as states attain their renewable portfolio standards (RPS), they may ease off efforts to obtain more renewable energy. Another factor is that cost reductions in renewable energy have also slowed.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the United States’ electricity generation from renewable sources in 2021 accounted for 20.1 per cent. Solar energy production was 114 billion kWh and wind energy stood more than triple of it around 379 billion kWh.

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