The US has seen 5 years’ worth of clean energy investments in just 9 months – here are the highlights

The US utility-scale clean energy sector has announced more than $150 billion in capital investment since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law last August – the American Clean Power Association breaks it down in a new report.

US clean energy boom

The American Clean Power Association’s new Clean Energy Investing in America study reports the statistical breakdown of where all this capital investment is going. The association is a federation of renewable energy companies that want to make clean energy the “dominant power source in America.”

Highlights of US clean energy growth in just the last nine months include, according to the American Clean Power Association’s summary:

  • 46 announcements of new, expanded, or reopened utility-scale manufacturing facilities:
    • 26 solar manufacturing facilities
    • 10 battery storage manufacturing facilities
    • 8 wind manufacturing facilities
    • 2 offshore wind manufacturing facilities
  • 18,000 new American manufacturing jobs
  • Nearly 96,000 MW of announced clean energy capacity
  • $4.4 billion in announced consumer savings
    • 24 million Americans served by utilities that announced consumer savings
  • States that will see new or expanded factories include Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, while other locations remain undetermined.

But the report warns that in order for the anticipated clean energy buildout to happen in a timely manner, it’s going to need an expedited and streamlined permitting process. The American Clean Power Association asserts that failure to do so will put “100 GW of clean energy at risk of significant delay.”

Jason Grumet, CEO of American Clean Power, said:

The clean energy transition is racing ahead. American companies are making massive investments that are increasing American competitiveness and revitalizing the manufacturing sector.

But we cannot build a strong, modern, and resilient economy absent dramatic improvement in the permitting of new energy infrastructure.

The American private sector has the technology, resources, and workforce to build a clean energy economy and deliver affordable, reliable, clean power to American families and businesses.

Now we need Congress to create a permitting system that is equal to the challenge and designed to succeed.

Electrek’s Take

This is good news and is the type of momentum we at Electrek knew would come from the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage because it’s groundbreaking legislation. We know the American Clean Power Association has an agenda, and it’s an agenda we align with. We want everyone to electrify and move to clean power as quickly as possible.

The report is right to raise the issue of a potential permitting backlog. It notes that “the average timeline for a clean energy project to obtain necessary National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews is 4.5 years.”

That’s too long for these clean energy projects to have to wait. Congress needs to reform the permitting process in a way that strikes a balance between timeliness and thoroughness of environmental reviews.

Read more: Global wind energy will exceed 1 TW by the end of 2023

Photo: First Solar Desert Sunlight Solar Farm/US Department of the Interior

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