US renewable energy tops 170GW, according to American Clean Power Association

Sau Ting Kwok - Hong Kong

Sau Ting Kwok - Hong Kong

A record 26GW of clean energy projects came online in the US last year, bringing the total to over 170GW, according to a new report from the American Clean Power Association (ACPA).

In the ‘Clean Power Annual’, ACPA said installations included 16,836MW of onshore wind, 8894MW of utility-scale solar, and 760MW of storage.

The report said that combined wind, solar, and battery storage power represent 78% of new power installations in 2020.

It added that clean power technologies now deliver 10.7% of the country’s electricity.

Over 415,000 Americans across all 50 states have direct clean energy jobs, and wind turbine technicians and solar installers are the country’s first and third fastest-growing occupations.

The report also found that clean power projects brought online in 2020 represent roughly $39bn in investment.

The clean power industry paid an estimated $1.7bn in state and local taxes and nearly $800m in lease payments to landowners across the country.

The report said that almost 90GW of renewable energy projects are currently underway, representing over $120bn in new investment.

Business demand for clean power also set a record as corporate buyers announced over 10GW of new pure power contracts and power purchase agreements in 2020.

Two-thirds of US states operate at least 1GW of operating wind, utility solar or battery storage capacity.

Texas leads all states with 37,443MW of clean power capacity, followed by California (20,354 MW), Iowa (11,394 MW), Oklahoma (9395 MW) and Kansas (7058 MW).

ACPA chief executive Heather Zichal said: “The Clean Power Annual is a testament to the record growth and investment across the renewable energy industry in the US today.

“The energy transition is well underway as we aim to meet essential climate targets and create good-paying American jobs.

“The clean power industry is helping to rebuild the US economy while combating the climate crisis. We hope this report can be a tool and resource as our industry drives innovation and job-creating investments in every American state.”

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