USA (United States of America)

Renewable energy in the USAThe United States of America is situated in the central and northwestern parts of the North American continent. The country is divided into 50 states, the district of Columbia and dependent territories (Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau)

According to the New Energy Outlook 2016 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the US is going to produce about 44% of its energy from renewable sources by 2040, compared to 14% in 2015. Natural gas contribution will decline from the current 33% to 31%.

As of mid-2016 29 US states have legislatively set renewable energy goals for the next decades.

Solar energy in USA

As of end-2015 the aggregate installed PV capacities of the US totaled 12.7 GW (0.3% in the country’s energy mix) which is number five in the world after Germany, China, Italy and Japan.

Wind energy in USA

BNEF said as of early 2016 the US ranked number two in the world after China in terms of installed wind capacities – 8.6 GW.

Geothermal energy in USA

The southern US states are promising in terms of geothermal energy.

Italian Enel Green Power, one of the leaders in the segment in the world, presently operates two geothermal energy plants in the states of Utah and California – Stillwater and Salt Wells having a total capacity of 33 MW.

Advanced transport in USA

State and municipal tax incentives and federal-level tax credit programs help EV sales rise quickly in the correspondent states. in 2015 27 US states offered different types of subsidies to buy low or zero emission vehicles which made them about 25% cheaper than conventional combustion engine cars.

The popularity of the highly acclaimed Tesla Model 3 showed that consumer interest in the ZEV market is on the rise. However presently customers prefer hybrid models, and experts predict a sharp growth of HEV sales in the near future. The University of California reported HEV and PHEV sales to increase about 5% by 2020 and 15% by 2025. EV sales totaled 300 thou in H2 2015 with 6 most popular models of 21 available on the market totaling 80%.

EV sales are additionally supported by a rapid growth of the number of charging outlets (about 14 thou outlets in the USA in 2016, of which about 2 thou are located in California: IRENA). State policies have great influence on how fast the infrastructure grows, too. In 2015 nine states (accounting for 30% of the US car market and 80% of the EV market) adopted ZEV programs.

Solar Investment Tax Credit — ITC, 2006

Solar Investment Tax Credit is one of the most important mechanisms used by the US Government to promote solar energy. ITC was first applied in 2006, and was prolonged several times (last time the Congress prolonged ITC till 2023 at the end of 2015) which provided an average annual rise of installed solar panels of 76%. The tax deduction totals 30% for residential and commercial property.

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act — PURPA, 1978

The first attempts of the US to support renewable energy dates back to late 1970s, the period of President Carter presidency. The world’s energy crisis which burst out in 1978 made the US Federal Government adopt an energy resources policy law named Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act — PURPA. According to some forecasts, crude oil price might rise to USD100 per barrel so the US was willing to lower its dependence on fuel imports, diversify the energy portfolio and support the development of alternate energy sources.

PURPA resulted in a growth of independent energy production by non-utility companies, by mid 2010s their market share reached 7%. Before PURPA was applied only utility companies had had the right to own and operate energy generation facilities while the Act made them on the contrary buy a part of energy from independents who managed to produce cheaper energy.

The US renewable market rose significantly due to PURPA, to more than 12 GW of hydro energy projects, it was also an impetus for solar energy companies like LUZ International.

US states

Latest USA’s energy market news

Latest and coming renewable energy events in USA

Organizations operating in USA

    Companies operating in USA

    Projects implemented or planned in USA