WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released its 2015 Revolution…Now report, which details the state of several clean energy technologies in the U.S. Building upon past reports, it shows a significant increase in deployment and a decrease in cost of clean technologies including solar and wind.
“We are experiencing a clean energy revolution in the United States, and this report confirms it,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Today, clean energy technologies are providing real-world solutions — not only to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming, but they also drive a domestic, low-carbon economy with technologies that are increasingly cost-competitive with conventional technologies. We have the tools for a cleaner and more secure energy future.”
The 2015 update shows that substantial cost reductions are continuing to drive the adoption of clean energy technologies. The report covers the rapid growth of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules for both large, utility-scale PV plants, and smaller, rooftop, distributed PV systems that have achieved significant deployment nationwide. DOE continues to invest in research and development for these technologies in addition to reducing market barriers in order to make these clean energy technologies even more cost-effective and widely available across the United States.
Between 2008 and 2014, land-based wind accounted for 31 percent of all new generation capacity installed in the U.S., in part due to early investments from DOE that helped drive the technology innovation that has enabled this growth. As of 2014, there were more than 65,000 megawatts of utility-scale wind power deployed across 39 states — enough to generate electricity for more than 16 million homes — with another 13,600 megawatts under construction in 2015.
By 2014, more than 8 gigawatts of distributed solar PV were installed, which is enough to power roughly 1 million American homes. Utility-scale solar PV grew by 68 percent in 2014 to 9.7 gigawatts total — more than 99 percent of which has been installed since 2008. The growth of the utility-scale PV market is in part due to significant support from DOE’s Loan Programs Office, which supported the first five projects over 100 MW. As of mid-2015 there were over 17 subsequent utility-scale projects over 100 MW that were financed solely by the private sector.
In addition to the above technologies, the 2015 Revolution…Now update introduces technologies that are on the cusp of wider deployment and cost reduction in the coming years, including smart building systems.
More information is available here.
Publication date: 11/26/2015