COGNITION Hot Take: Prime Time for Wind and Solar

While wind and solar power currently only represent 12 percent of domestic power supply, demand is exploding as renewable energy becomes less expensive than fossil fuel.

The renewable energy revolution is here: Even without tax incentives, wind power and solar power are now cheaper than fossil fuels on a national scale.

According to a recent study conducted by asset management firm Lazard, it is now less expensive to build new onshore wind and utility-scale solar power generation facilities than it is to operate existing fossil fuel facilities.

solar-windThe study states that the economic shift has resulted from a substantial decrease in the cost of wind and solar system components, improvements in efficiency, and lower marginal operating costs (the wind and sunshine are abundant and free, resulting in nominal sourcing costs when compared to fossil fuels that are expensive to extract.)

Clearly, the Achilles heel for renewables is the intermittent nature of wind and solar and the corresponding need for battery storage.

With that said, COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence services, indicates that battery storage costs are declining, particularly for shorter-duration applications (namely, wholesale in-front-of-the-meter use cases), mostly due to evolving battery chemistry.

The price of lithium-ion batteries has fallen approximately 80 percent over the past five years, and the amount of storage deployed on a national scale is nearly doubling each quarter. In fact, the market value for battery storage is expected to surge from $720 million in 2020 to $5.1 billion in 2024.

It is anticipated that the new Biden/Harris administration will push to implement a climate plan that will drive further adoption of renewable energy, including the installation of up to 60,000 wind turbines and 500 million solar panels over the next five years to achieve a carbon-free power grid by 2035.

For more information about the explosive growth of the renewable energy market, sign up for a COGNITION subscription.

About COGNITION Smart Data:

COGNITION Smart Data offers advanced intelligence and insights about market trends and important customer information like behavioral patterns, purchase drivers, buying preferences and sentiment.  COGNITION enables clients to make informed business decisions, yielding specific deliverables and tangible results.  COGNITION provides a definitive competitive advantage by allowing companies to stay a step ahead of their competitors.

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