A recent market study conducted by IHS Emerging Energy Research shows that states with strong renewable portfolio standards will see an average of 250% growth over the next 15 years. The research estimates that renewable energy production from all RPS enforced states combined will increase from 137 TWh in 2010 to nearly 480 TWh by 2025.
As of June 2010 mandatory renewable portfolio policies have been passed in 31 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and 6 more states have approved non-mandatory goals. While utilities in a few states, such as Maine, Colorado and New Hampshire, and Washington are already well on their way toward meeting their 2015 RPS targets, the majority of states will require rapid renewables growth if they are to meet their RPS objectives.
The U.S. renewables market has experienced explosive growth since 2005, expanding from a total installed base of 30 gigawatts (GW) to over 60 GW at the end of 2009. “With increasing challenges including low power pricing and uncertain federal policies, escalating RPS demand will define the timing and location of renewables growth across the U.S. over the next few years,” says IHS Renewable Power Research Director Alex Klein.
RPS policies are estimated to require more than 1,000 investor-owned utilities (IOUs), load-serving entities (LSEs) and competitive retail suppliers to procure renewable power over the next decade, according to the study. Beginning in 2010, significantly escalating RPS demand will create gradually intensifying compliance pressure across the U.S.
“The next five years will be especially critical as the industry faces its first real test of a significant ramp-up in RPS demand. Before the industry can attempt to reach already lofty longer-term renewable energy goals, utilities and regulators must prove in the next few years that they can reach initial compliance with the RPS targets coming due in many US states,” added Klein.
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