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The United States “has the lowest renewable energy penetration among the top 5 global economies,” Moody’s Investors Service concluded in an infrastructure and project finance report released Monday. Leading that list is the European Union and U.K., followed by China, India and Japan.
The analysis blames the laggard status on weak U.S. federal policies, including the lack of a national renewables mandate and inconsistent tax incentives for wind and solar. Where renewables have thrived in the United States, Moody’s said, is in large part due to their growing cost competitiveness and local policy.
Analysts and advocates agree U.S. federal policy has not sufficiently championed renewables growth, but see reasons for optimism with President Joe Biden indicating his support for clean energy. “It is really important for the federal government to lay down some markers and set some goals,” said Uday Varadarajan, a principal in Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) carbon-free electricity practice.