From solar and wind power to hydro-electricity and biofuels, investments in green energy technologies are expected to reach record heights over the next few years.
And 2023 has already been one for the books! According to the International Energy Agency, Global investment in clean energy is on course to rise to 1.7 trillion in 2023, with solar set to eclipse oil production for the very first time.
With both funding and favorable legislation from the U.S. government and private investors, the future of green energy is being built before our eyes and changing the renewable energy industry landscape across the U.S. Hopes are high as the investment floodgates have been opened wide and we race to meet 2050 net zero emissions goals.
The Inflation Reduction Act: opening the floodgates for investments.
With the game changing effects of the Inflation Reduction Act, and the U.S. ranking first in renewable attractiveness in the recent EY global Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), the stage is set for investments to continue to propel the U.S. forward in the global renewable energy transition.
The ecosystem of improved incentives, tax credits and market movement, coupled with additional and expansive financing sources and new market participants, is creating both momentum and unprecedented opportunity.
According to Ernst & Young, this movement is not just in the forward trajectory of the renewables industry but also across investment portfolios of every organization in, or looking to enter, the sector (EY).
Simply put, it’s a great time for investors to make sure renewable energy is a part of their portfolios and watch the short and long term outcomes of their investments have measurable effects.
Are we seeing a green investment effect?
Green investments are doing more than funding projects, they are making waves!
In addition to renewable energy sources helping the world fight climate change, reducing pollution and environmental damage, green investments are already spurring economic growth and job creation in many countries, especially the U.S.
Here are some areas of immediate impact where we’ve started to see what we’re coining as the “green investment effect” taking place across the U.S. renewable energy industry.
1. Going Beyond Solar Farms and Offshore Wind: Investments increase in energy storage projects, manufacturing, transportation & more.
We are seeing investment in not just solar farms and offshore wind, which are still the top growing renewable energy fields in the U.S., but investments are also broadening renewable energy scope in the U.S.
Historic investments have also been coming to energy storage projects, biofuels, manufacturing, transportation, services and technology.
2. Increased investments = Green Job Creation
“Investment in clean energy technologies is on the brink of overtaking fossil fuel investments, and won’t look back,” said Albert Cheung, Head of Global Analysis at BloombergNEF. “These investments will drive short-term job creation and help to address medium-term energy security objectives.”
In fact, more than 100,000 “green jobs” were already created in the US in less than six months after the IRA was signed into law, according to new research in the clean energy boom report.
3. Expanding the Impact of Renewable Energy: Hot Markets in the U.S.
Currently, the states with the most effective solar policies are California, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, and Arizona.
These states are the typical green energy heavy hitters in the U.S. and for good reason. They offer various incentives, like net metering and tax credits as well as subsidies for residential and commercial installations (earth.org).
However, increased investment also means more opportunity for other U.S. states to make meaningful headway in their own renewable energy progression.
New players: U.S. states on the rise
Move over California! More and more states are taking charge and doing their part to fight climate change and increase renewable energy production and consumption within their state borders.
South Dakota: South Dakota more than tripled its wind production with 83% of its instate electricity coming from renewable sources.
- Vermont, Washington, Idaho: Coming in closely behind South Dakota, these three states get the majority of their renewable energy from hydropower.
- Minnesota: Minnesota committed to 100% carbon free electric power!
- Texas: Although Texas produces the most renewable energy of any U.S. state, it also generates the other half of its electricity with fossil sources like natural gas.
(Source: Yale Climate Connections).
The U.S. states adding the most renewable jobs might surprise you, too. According to a new report by Climate Power, States with the highest job-counts in the analysis include:
- Kansas (20,500)
- Georgia (16,627)
- Tennessee (11,753)
The future is looking bright, but more investment is still needed to reach “net-zero” emissions trajectories.
Things are certainly looking bright, but according to Bloomberg we aren’t in the clear just yet.
“Despite 2022’s impressive results, global investment in lower-carbon technologies remains woefully short of what is needed to confront climate change. For the world to get on a 2050 ‘net-zero’ CO2 emissions trajectory, such investment must immediately triple.”
We’ve still got our work cut out for us, but increased investments in this sector will no doubt be one of the most important drivers of environmental sustainability and continued job creation in the U.S. in the years to come. We have our finger on the pulse of this growing industry. Check out our open roles!
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