US adds record 26 GW of renewables in 2020, says clean power org ACP

Image by U.S. Department of Agriculture.

July 30 (Renewables Now) - Despite the pandemic, the US installed a record 26 GW of clean energy plants in 2020 to reach more than 170 GW of wind, utility solar and battery storage power capacity, according to the first Clean Power Annual report of the American Clean Power (ACP) Association, released on Thursday.

The country added 16,836 MW of land-based wind, 8,894 MW of utility-scale solar and 760 MW of battery storage capacity, which together represent 78% of all new power installations in 2020, up from 28% in 2010. Currently, 10.7% of the US electricity comes from clean power technologies, according to the report.

The projects commissioned last year translate to around USD 39 billion (EUR 33bn) in investment. A further almost 90 GW of clean energy projects are underway, representing an investment of more than USD 120 billion. Offshore wind projects of 9 GW are in advanced development along the US East coast.

The state that installed the most clean power capacity in 2020 was Texas with 6,320 MW. Next come California with 2,193 MW, Florida with 1,267 MW, Iowa with 1,218 MW and Oklahoma with 1,182 MW.

In terms of cumulative clean power capacity, the chart is led by Texas with 37,443 MW, California with 20,354 MW, Iowa with 11,394 MW, Oklahoma with 9,395 MW and Kansas with 7,058 MW.

The top five states for share of clean power generation last year were Iowa with 57.6%, Kansas with 43.4%, Oklahoma with 35.5%, South Dakota with 32.9% and North Dakota with 30.8%.

According to ACP’s report, wind and solar are the cheapest form of generation in most parts of the country. Since 2009 the unsubsidised cost of energy has declined by 71% and 90% for wind and solar power, respectively.

Last year also saw record business demand for clean power as corporate buyers contracted 10,417 MW of clean power capacity, almost matching the 10,854 MW contracted by utilities.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.842)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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