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Certrec's Renewable Energy Market Research

An Overview of Renewable energy in the United States

Renewable energy has made great strides over the past few decades. The Renewables market now makes up 22% of electricity generated within the U.S. According to the EIS, this is projected to increase to 24% in 2023. With the market for renewables expanding, Certrec is conducting market research to answer many of the industry's most pressing questions. Overall, in the United States, total annual energy production was greater than total annual consumption for the first time since 1957 in 2019. Production also exceeded consumption in 2020 and in 2021. Click the icons below to read Certrec's wind, solar, and hydro research.


Certrec’s 2022 Market Research Survey Results

The results of the following survey were collected from a sample of plant managers, directors, engineers, and experts within the renewable energy industry. The survey aimed to understand what professionals know and what their most pressing questions were. 

Renewable energy will provide over 50% of U.S. energy within 10 years 

Results show that energy professionals are not confident that the U.S. will produce 50% of energy from renewable sources such as solar wind and hydro within 10 years. Most respondents disagreed with the statement, while only 13% strongly agreed with the statement. In total, 59% of voters indicated doubt that the current goal was feasible. One respondent commented, “I don't think it will, but it definitely should.”

Within the U.S., both Rhode Island and the District of Columbia have goals to reach 100% renewable energy by 2033. In addition, the Biden administration aims reach generate increase electricity generated from renewable and nuclear sources throughout the U.S to 80%. Our results indicate that professionals are unconfident the U.S. will reach policy goals despite pushes from both Federal and State officials.

What renewable energy source do you think has the largest carbon footprint?

Industry professionals overwhelmingly voted for Solar. However, hydro comes in with the largest footprint at 97g. Research shows that the carbon footprint of solar comes in at 6gCO2e/kWh, and wind at 4gCO2e/kWh. This is because of the hidden carbon footprint that hydro and other renewable energy sources expend during their manufacture and construction. This is referred to as a carbon debt.

Which renewable industry do you think will have the highest capacity (MW) in the U.S. by 2030?

Capacity is defined as the maximum power output. This measurement helps utilities project how big of an electricity load a generator can handle. In this poll, most industry professionals, 49%, voted that solar would have the highest capacity by 2030. One respondent stated, “I think wind needs the most battery storage.... per MW installed capacity.”

Currently, hydro has the highest energy source capacity in total. However, research reveals that solar energy is leading the way in capacity expansion, with a 19% increase. This is 6% higher than wind and 17% higher than hydro. If trends hold, solar energy could easily have the highest capacity by 2030.

Which renewable method is currently the cheapest to generate electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh)?

Solar, again, was the most voted answer. But, Research shows that hydro is the cheapest, on average at $0.05 per kWh. However, in some areas, wind can be cheaper at $0.04 per kWh.

Renewable energy is now cheaper than carbon-based energy

In this poll, energy professionals strongly disagreed that Renewable energy is now cheaper than carbon-based energy. However, to understand ..

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