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The $1 trillion by 2030 renewable energy investment goal set for the US is still within reach although the pandemic is presenting challenges, according to a new report released by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).

The report, Expectations for Renewable Energy Finance in 2020-2023, has found that investors remain optimistic about long-term renewable energy growth, even as companies experience significant near-term headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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The study is based on a survey of prominent financial institutions and renewable energy development companies on their confidence in the sector amid the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

In 2018, ACORE set the $1T 2030: American Renewable Investment Goal to help secure $1 trillion in private sector investment in renewable energy and enable grid technologies by 2030.

By achieving the goal, the US would have doubled its historic investment in the renewable sector. The investment would also more than double the country’s existing renewable capacity.

The launch of the report comes after the US witnessed a record in investment in 2019 owing to cuts in federal tax credits, expanded state renewable energy standards, improved cost competitiveness and increased demand.

Owing to the record, the US has to date met one eighth of the total $1 trillion campaign goal.

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% over the 2019 investment level.

Gregory Wetstone, the CEO of ACORE, said: “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.

“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.”

Read more about the report.