Renewable capacity in the US set to double by 2030 – report


Installed renewable energy capacity in the US is set to increase to 443GW by 2030, double the current capacity, according to a new study by research firm Global Data.

With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3%, owing to the increased adoption and updating of renewable energy policies and regulations.

Anticipated emission taxes are also expected to push up the price of fossil-fuel generation, thus making it a less attractive option when compared to the falling prices of renewable energy.

Global Data’s latest report, ‘US Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations and Competitive Landscape’ found that US energy utilities are keen on switching to renewables so as to comply with state-level renewable energy targets.

Furthermore, coal-based capacity is forecasted to decline by almost half – dropping from 27.2% to just 13.5% in 2030, as renewable energy, storage capacity, and stable, gas-based generation become more widespread in the country.

Global Data power industry analyst Arkapal Sil said: “During 2019-2030, offshore wind capacity is set to see the largest growth rate among renewables, reaching 11.7GW from 60MW at a 62% CAGR, while solar photovoltaic capacity is expected to reach 220GW from 75.3GW, growing at a 10% CAGR.”

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The onshore wind segment, which registered a growth of 22% CAGR during 2000-2018, to reach 96.3GW, will see a steady growth of 5% CAGR over the forecast period to reach 185.5GW in 2030.

Onshore wind is predicted to account for 12% of the US overall generation mix, up from 8% in 2018.

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Sil added: “Increased renewable capacity addition will open up new markets for wind turbines, modules for solar plants and associated equipment required for transmitting the generated power to the grid.”

Renewable capacity expansion will require grid modernisation to manage a high volume of renewable energy with implied inherent variability.

Global Data notes that huge investment in grid infrastructure and open new markets for energy storage to ensure a steady supply of power when sufficient renewable energy is unavailable.

Global Data estimates that the US battery storage market could be valued at around $5 billion in 2030.

Nuclear power is expected to increase in cost due to higher safety standards, and will cause a slight decline in the nuclear capacity during the forecast period.

“As a result, gas-based power will dominate the generation mix, accounting for 41% of installed capacity, and catering to the country’s base-load power requirement in 2030,” said Sil.