New Analysis: The $1T 2030 American Renewable Investment Goal Remains Within Reach, but Pandemic Presents Challenges

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ACORE Releases Campaign Progress Report and New Survey of Financial Institutions and Developers

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A new analysis released today finds that investors remain optimistic about long-term renewable energy growth, even as companies experience significant near-term headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic. Expectations for Renewable Energy Finance in 2020-2023 presents the results of a new survey of prominent financial institutions and renewable energy development companies on their confidence in the sector amid the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

This report also tracks progress on the $1T 2030: American Renewable Investment Goal, which is an initiative ACORE launched in 2018 to help secure $1 trillion in private sector investment in renewable energy and enabling grid technologies by 2030. One trillion dollars of investment over 2018-2030 would represent more than two times the historic investment in the U.S. renewable sector before the campaign and more than double our existing renewable capacity, bringing us closer to meeting climate goals.

After a record level of investment in 2019 that was driven by phasedown schedules for the federal tax credits, expanded state renewable energy standards, improved cost competitiveness and increased demand, one eighth of the total $1 trillion campaign goal has officially been met. To achieve the remaining investment by 2030, an average of $87.5 billion a year will need to be invested through 2029 – an annual increase of 28% over the 2019 investment level. However, as the report indicates, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession and recent policy developments have created near-term headwinds for sector investment, slowing the pace of growth in 2020.

“While it’s clear we’ve made important progress toward our goal, achieving $1 trillion of private sector investment by 2030 will require policies that allow the renewable industry to grow through the challenges associated with the pandemic,” said ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. “Fortunately, as our survey results show, the fundamental health of the sector is strong and renewable energy remains one of America’s most attractive investment options.”

To gain a better understanding of the expected environment for renewable sector finance over the next three years, ACORE surveyed leading financial institutions and renewable energy development companies.

Key survey findings include:

  • Investors and developers report continued confidence in the growth of renewable energy and energy storage over the next three years
  • The United States remains an attractive venue for investment in renewable energy compared to other leading countries
  • Energy storage ranks as the most attractive sector for investment between 2020 and 2023, followed closely by utility-scale solar and residential/commercial solar
  • The majority of surveyed investors do not expect significant long-term impacts from COVID-19, but half of the surveyed developers report that their immediate development plans have changed significantly
  • Three-quarters of surveyed tax equity investors predict a decline in tax equity investment, and two-thirds of surveyed developers report difficulty in securing financing or project offtakers due to COVID-19

ACORE concludes that achievement of the $1T 2030 goal will require market and policy changes, including measures to help the sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read the new report and survey, and for more details on the $1T 2030 campaign, please visit http://www.acore.org/1T2030/.

About ACORE:
Founded in 2001, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is the nation’s premier pan-renewable organization uniting finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. For more information, please visit http://www.acore.org.

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