The year ahead promises new growth paths for the renewable energy industry, potentially aided by supportive policies from an administration focused on combatting climate change. Yet, some challenges still linger. Explore how new technologies, business models, policies, and investments could help address these challenges and accelerate growth in our 2022 renewable energy industry outlook.
In 2021, the renewable energy industry remained remarkably resilient. Rapid technology improvements and decreasing costs of renewable energy resources, along with the increased competitiveness of battery storage, have made renewables one of the most competitive energy sources in many areas. Despite suffering from supply chain constraints, increased shipping costs, and rising prices for key commodities, capacity installations remained at an all-time high. Wind and solar capacity additions of 13.8 GW in the first eight months of 2021 were up 28% over the same period in 2020. Many cities, states, and utilities set ambitious clean energy goals, increasing renewable portfolio standards and enacting energy storage procurement mandates.
Renewable energy growth is poised to accelerate in 2022, as concern for climate change and support for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations grow and demand for cleaner energy sources from most market segments accelerates. At the same time, the Biden administration’s vision to fully decarbonize the US economy is helping spur activity in the renewable sector that will likely drive further growth—particularly if proposed legislation is enacted. In our renewable energy industry analysis, the following five trends are expected to move to the forefront in 2022, opening new avenues in the renewable energy growth story.