The use of renewable energy sources in North America has been increasing in recent years, driven by declining costs and favorable policies. The wind and solar industries have been growing rapidly, with wind capacity increasing by 9% and solar capacity increasing by 18% in 2020. Renewable energy accounted for 11% of total electricity generation in the USA in 2020, with wind and solar providing 7% and 2% respectively. This rise in renewable energy production is expected to accelerate due to the increasing demand and the high number of clean energy incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). States in the U.S. have already revised their existing strategies and devised new action plans to cut down their emissions.
However, the surging need for renewable energy in 2023 could worsen supply chain issues and connection bottlenecks, driving up costs and lengthening project periods. Transmission limitations could impede progress until the energy production capacity is drastically increased. That said, the shifting tendencies could assist the industry in overcoming headwinds as it grows in 2023 and set up the foundation for faster growth in 2024.
This makes setting renewable energy goals important for several reasons which include but are not limited to:
- Addressing Climate Change: One of the primary reasons for setting renewable energy goals is to address the pressing issue of climate change. By transitioning to renewable energy sources, the energy sector can play a crucial role in limiting greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impact of climate change.
- Improving Energy Security: Setting renewable energy goals can also improve energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil and increasing domestic production of energy.
- Driving Innovation: Setting renewable energy goals can help drive innovation in the energy sector by providing a clear direction for investment and research and development. This can lead to the development of new technologies and improved systems that can help the energy sector transition to a more sustainable future.
- Meeting Consumer Demand: There is growing consumer demand for clean and sustainable energy, and setting renewable energy goals can help the energy sector meet this demand and respond to market signals.
- Encouraging Investment: Setting renewable energy goals can also encourage investment in the energy sector, as investors look for opportunities to finance sustainable energy projects.
- Achieving Sustainability Goals: Finally, setting renewable energy goals can help to achieve larger sustainability goals, both at the national and global level and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future.
By setting clear and achievable targets, the energy sector can work towards a more sustainable and low-carbon future, benefiting both the environment and society as a whole.
How to Make Renewable Energy Production Affordable in the Future?
The cost of renewable energy production has decreased significantly in recent years and is becoming increasingly competitive with traditional energy sources.
For example, wind and solar energy are now some of the most cost-competitive sources of electricity in many regions of North America. The cost of wind energy decreased by approximately 69% between 2009 and 2019, while the cost of solar energy decreased by roughly 88% in the same period.
In 2021, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for utility-scale solar energy in the U.S. was estimated to be between $36 and $44 per MWh, while the LCOE for wind energy was estimated to be between $29 and $56 per MWh, depending on the location.
Renewable energy is becoming increasingly affordable in North America. As the technologies continue to evolve and improve, it is likely that the costs will continue to decrease in the future. Here are some of the ways to achieve higher energy efficiency and affordability in the near future:
- Technological advancements: Research and development to improve the efficiency and scalability of renewable energy technologies will reduce costs and make them more accessible to a wider range of consumers.
- Economies of scale: As renewable energy production grows, the economies of scale will drive down the costs of production and distribution, making them more affordable for everyone.
- Government policies: Government policies and incentives, such as tax credits and subsidies, can help make renewable energy more affordable by reducing the cost burden for consumers and businesses.
- Public-private partnerships: Collaboration between the government and private sector can drive investment in renewable energy, spur innovation and increase efficiency, making it more affordable.
- Energy storage: The development of cost-effective energy storage technologies can improve the reliability of renewable energy, making it a more viable alternative to traditional energy sources.
By focusing on these key areas, we can create a future where renewable energy is not only better for the environment but also affordable for all.
How is New York Energy Week helping the energy industry set renewable energy goals for 2023?
New York Energy Week can play a role in helping the energy industry set renewable energy goals for 2023 by providing a platform for stakeholders to come together and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector. The past events have successfully brought together leaders from the energy industry, government, and academia to share their perspectives and collaborate on solutions to drive the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon energy system.
Through a variety of events, such as panels, presentations, and networking opportunities, New York Energy Week can provide a space for stakeholders to exchange ideas and information about renewable energy and identify concrete steps that can be taken to advance the industry in the coming year. For example, industry leaders may come together to set specific renewable energy targets for 2023, develop strategies for increasing the deployment of renewable energy technologies, or collaborate on research and development initiatives to improve renewable energy systems.
New York Energy Week can help the energy industry set renewable energy goals for 2023 by fostering collaboration, promoting innovation, and driving progress in the energy sector. NYEW is inviting energy market leaders in the U.S. to join for a special 10th-anniversary event through June 19-21, 2023. To learn about sponsorship opportunities, click here.