The Increasing Role of Renewable Energy

EM – May 2021: This month, EM considers the current landscape and future role of renewable generation deployment in the United States.
by Justin T. Walters

Renewable energy resources make up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. energy sector. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, in 2019, U.S. generation from sources of renewable energy exceeded coal generation for the first time in over 130 years. In 2020, more wind capacity was installed in the United States than in any previous year. In 2021, renewables are expected to account for 70% of new U.S. generating capacity, while new battery storage, which is increasingly coupled with renewables, will make up an additional 11%. In addition, through 2024, 172.5 gigawatts of solar and wind generating capacity are reported to be in the queue to come online.

There is no doubt, the role of renewable energy resources in the United States is growing at a rapid pace, and that trend is expected to continue. With renewables representing an increasing share of U.S. electricity generation, energy storage becomes increasingly valuable to avoid curtailment of variable renewables, such as wind and solar, and to maintain grid reliability during periods of high demand and low renewable generation. Renewable energy resources are also poised to play a key role in decarbonizing other sectors of the economy, including transportation. 

This issue of EM focuses on the current landscape and future of renewable generation deployment in the United States, the roles of storage and hydrogen in enabling and enhancing the value of renewables, and the growing role of renewable fuels, including renewable natural gas and renewable diesel.

Continue reading the full May 2021 issue of EM.


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