FIVE RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY TRENDS TO WATCH
FEBRUARY 25, 2022
Renewable energy growth is expected to accelerate in 2022, as the rising concern for climate change, and support for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations call forr cleaner energy sources.AS Acquisitions, always keeping up with the trends in the industry, presents to you the following five that are expected to move to the forefront in 2022, opening new avenues in the renewable energy growth story.
Next-generation clean energy technologies
Private investment and pilot projects combined with federal research support could help expedite commercialization of next-generation technologies such as green hydrogen, advanced batteries, and other forms of long-duration storage. Evidently, they can provide zero-carbon electricity and longer-term seasonal electricity storage, ease grid congestion, stem renewable curtailment, boost reliability, and facilitate integration of solar and wind into the grid while supporting goals for 100% clean energy. As Michael Adetona, principal consultant of As Acquisitions, states: ‘a major driving force behind the rising interest on green hydrogen is the decreasing costs of renewable energy’.
New configurations in the solar industry
The solar industry will likely pursue exploring new configurations and business models. And in 2022 could well see the industry growing solar-plus-storage buildouts, exploring floating solar PV modules, and expanding community solar projects to new markets. Pairing storage with solar offers cost synergies, operational efficiencies, and the opportunity to reduce storage capital costs with the solar investment tax credit.
Key priority: Transmission infrastructure
AS Acquisitions speculates that transmission development, which is key for connecting new, often remotely located renewable energy capacity to electricity consuming centers, is expected to be a significant part of the renewable energy industry’s agenda in 2022. Transmission projects have been a major challenge, as they face difficulty in gaining regulatory approval from every state they cross, as well as refusal from landowners, and opposition from environmental groups. This holds especially true for offshore wind, which is poised for significant growth and must be connected to coastal infrastructure.
Supply chain strategies are still going strong
The renewable energy industry is likely to continue to evolve supply chains, as profits have suffered recently amid logistics-related cost pressures, and US-China trade tensions. In 2022, US renewable energy developers will likely move towards alternative suppliers, including domestic manufacturers, where available; reassess supply needs; and develop alternatives to help alleviate these pressures.
The circular economy is critical to sustainable growth
End-of-life (EoL) management strategies for renewable energy industry products and materials are likely to capture attention, as early installations approach the end of their useful life. This could help reduce waste, increase resource security, and provide additional financial value as well as sustainability credentials. Michael Adetona, principal consultant of As acquisitions, is certain that waste generation will likely soar and require urgent solutions. By 2030, decommissioned PV modules could total 1 million tons of waste, and there could be 80 metric kilotons of lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) to recycle in the United States. The renewable energy industry has already initiated exploring solutions for extending life, and increasing the performance and repurposing of waste products.