US Battery Surge Opens Record Growth in Wind and Solar Pipelines

A new study published by the Electricity Markets and Policy group (EMP) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (EMP) shows that the queue of new wind and solar capacity in the United States with planned grid connection has reached record levels, alongside the new capacity of battery storage projects.

“We are seeing that the total active capacity in the queues is increasing year by year, with more than 750 GW of production and an estimated storage capacity of 200 GW at the end of 2020,” the researchers found. “Solar (462 GW) represents an important – and growing – part of the capacity of generators in the queues. Significant wind capacity (209 GW) is also under development, including 29% for offshore projects (61 GW). In total, around 680 GW of zero carbon capacity are currently seeking access to transport, as is 74 GW of natural gas capacity ”.

PEM research also shows that “hybrid” projects – solar combined with storage – increase in proportion to the generation capacity due to grid connection. The number of new gas projects in the United States is largely declining, with the exception of the Southeast region. Wind and solar are booming in all regions, although the amount of predicted wind capacity has declined slightly. The amount of storage capacity added to the queue in 2019 and 2020 was several times greater than in previous years.

The report also points out that not all projects in the connection queue end up being created. “Among a subset of queues for which data is available, only 24% of projects seeking to connect between 2000 and 2015 were built afterwards. The completion percentages seem to be decreasing and are even lower for wind and solar than for other resources, ”the report notes. This is due to cost, time and speculation, to which wind and solar are particularly vulnerable. The analysis revealed that nuclear power had the longest delays in connection queues, for projects without interconnection agreements.

The majority of renewable energy development takes place in Texas, Arizona, Indiana and California, with an offshore project planned for New York.

The United States government, led by President Joe Biden, has a plan to achieve 80% clean energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2035. The government has recently started taking the first steps. measures to accelerate the growth of offshore wind power and electric vehicles, but faces a set of significant hurdles in achieving the legislation required to transform the country’s power system. Gas-fired power, in particular, will pose a threat to targets, with many new gas plants likely to miss the clean power deadline without an early shutdown.




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