GlobalData estimates renewable energy capacity in the US will exceed 440GW by 2030, while coal power is set to decline steeply over the next ten years
The contribution from renewable energy to the US energy mix will double from 15% today to 30% in 2030, according to GlobalData.
The market intelligence firm’s latest report predicts the country’s clean power capacity will reach 442.8 gigawatts (GW) over the next decade off the back of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3%.
It attributes this surge in production to more states adopting and updating renewable energy policies, as well as imposed emission taxes increasing the cost of fossil fuel power generation.
Arkapal Sil, power industry analyst at GlobalData, 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.
“Biopower, geothermal and solar thermal segments are expected to jointly grow at an average of 3% CAGR over the forecast period.”
Renewable energy on the up in the US
GlobalData claims increased renewable energy capacity in the US will require mass updating of the country’s grid in order to account for clean power’s variability in supply.
This will mean massive investment in grid infrastructure, which the company says will increase the battery storage market’s worth to roughly $5bn by 2030.
Sil said: “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.
“The increased cost of nuclear power due to higher safety standards will result in 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.”
GlobalData’s report also suggests the US’ share of coal-based capacity will decline from 27.2% to 13.5% over the coming ten years.
The country is in the midst of closing three of its largest coal power stations: The Navajo Generating Station in Arizona’s high desert, Bruce Mansfield in Pennsylvania and Kentucky’s Paradise plant.
Dan Bakal, senior director of electric power at Ceres, said: “It’s just the economics keep moving in a direction that favours natural gas and renewables.
“Five years ago, it was about the older coal plants becoming uneconomic, but now it’s becoming about every coal unit, and it’s a question of how long they can survive.”