Surging global energy prices have been a central theme over the past year, as
rebounding economic activity vied with new waves of COVID infections, and the
shock of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has roiled oil and gas markets in particular.
But the soaring cost of fossil fuels and unexpected disruptions in energy security are
now supercharging what was already a torrid pace of growth in solar, wind and
battery storage projects.
IEEFA predicted last year that wind, solar and hydro’s share of the U.S. electric
power market would approach 30 percent by the end of 2026. IEEFA now believes
the forecast reflected the low end of possible growth, given the significant
acceleration in expected solar and wind (particularly offshore) capacity installations
through 2026. We now expect that clean energy’s share of the electric generation
market could hit 33 percent or more. Together with existing nuclear generation, this
would push the U.S. share of carbon-free electricity to well over 50 percent—a
massive transition from just five years ago.