According to a new report from the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), the U.S. West leads the rest of the country in generation and investment for renewable energy.
Fully redesigned for 2015, ACORE’s “Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Western Region” report examines state energy policies and programs, investment, and market openness in the renewable energy sector in the 13 western states (including AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, and WY).
“ACORE’s 50 State Report is a key resource for anyone interested in the progress of renewables across America,” said Dan Reicher, interim President and CEO of ACORE and Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance at Stanford University. “We are especially excited to release the Western Region edition first, as so much of renewable energy’s success can be traced back to this part of the country.”
This year’s report includes an important introduction by international law firm Crowell & Moring LLP, and captures the continued importance of the region as a hotspot for renewable energy development. The summary discusses key drivers for renewable energy deployment, such as western power market expansion, EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and net-metering rules as areas of particular interest in 2015.
“Joining with ACORE to produce the 50 State Report this year has been a great opportunity to highlight areas in the energy space where our firm has been especially busy in 2015,” said Nancy Saracino at Crowell & Moring. “Crowell & Moring is actively growing its energy practice in California, in the western U.S., and across the country more generally, where, like California, we’re anticipating significant growth in the clean energy industry over the coming decade. This report is certainly a useful tool to understand the dynamics of evolving renewable markets not just in the West, but in any state or region where what’s going on in the West might be emulated.”
This year’s update to the Western Region Report notes that the west:
- Attracted nearly half of the country’s combined venture capital, private equity, and asset finance investment in the renewable energy sector in 2014.
- Renewable energy output produced roughly one-third of the region’s total electricity generation in 2014 (compared to about 13% nationally).
- Had 50% of the nation’s total installed renewable power capacity is located in the 13 western states.
- Contains strong and diverse natural resources well suited for the deployment of nearly all renewable energy technologies, including wind power.
“Renewable energy is more affordable today than ever before, and ACORE is excited to report on ways in which the western U.S. is taking advantage of its immense renewable resources,” said Lesley Hunter, lead author of the report and Director of Research & Programs at ACORE. “From California’s 50% RPS to Nevada’s sub-four cent PPA signed this year for a solar project, 2015 has been a major year for renewables in the West.”
Also among its key findings, the report highlights the broad scope of clean-energy deployment state by state. California has strong policy support and diverse renewable resources, helping attract more investments than any other state with $5.2 billion invested in 2014. The report also highlights the recent expansions of Hawaii and California’s renewable portfolio standards, to 100% and 50% respectively, which are expected to drive significant gigawatts of new projects in the upcoming years.
ACORE’s “2015 Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Western Region” report can be downloaded here.
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