In 2019, renewable energy generation reached nearly 22 percent of US capacity, surpassing coal-fired plants’ share for the first time, and the rush to deploy battery storage at grid-scale and behind-the-meter surged as battery costs fell sharply. And while natural gas dominated the US power generation mix at over 44 percent of generation capacity, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted in January 2020 that generation from renewable sources will surpass natural gas by 2045. By all accounts, the nation had fast-tracked decarbonization efforts.
Then the pandemic hit, and the transition to clean energy took a back seat. From disrupted supply chains to paused procurement, halted production, and delayed projects, the double-digit increase of renewable energy production expected to take place in 2020 looks to have come to a halt. But it’s not all bad news. Renewable energy may have unexpectedly slowed in 2020, but it won’t be down for long. The demand for renewable energy is still up, and those clean energy goals are still in place.
Here is where things stand: