Renewable energy is set to experience accelerated growth in 2022, driven by increasing concerns about climate change and a growing emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations. AS Acquisitions, a leading industry consultant, shares the top five trends expected to shape the renewable energy landscape in 2022, creating new avenues for growth and innovation.
Next-Generation Clean Energy Technologies
Next-generation technologies like green hydrogen, advanced batteries, and long-duration storage solutions are poised to play a significant role in the renewable energy sector. Private investments, pilot projects, and federal research support are expected to expedite the commercialization of these technologies. They offer zero-carbon electricity, long-term seasonal storage capabilities, grid congestion management, renewable curtailment reduction, improved reliability, and seamless integration of solar and wind power. AS Acquisitions' principal consultant, Michael Adetona, attributes the growing interest in green hydrogen to decreasing renewable energy costs.
New Configurations in the Solar Industry
The solar industry is anticipated to explore new configurations and business models in 2022. Solar-plus-storage projects, floating solar PV modules, and the expansion of community solar initiatives into untapped markets are expected to gain traction. Combining energy storage with solar power enables cost synergies, operational efficiencies, and potential storage capital cost reduction through the solar investment tax credit.
Key Priority: Transmission Infrastructure
AS Acquisitions predicts that transmission infrastructure development will be a crucial focus for the renewable energy industry in 2022. Building transmission lines is essential for connecting remote renewable energy sources to electricity consumption centers. However, these projects often face regulatory hurdles, opposition from landowners, and environmental groups' resistance. The growth of offshore wind, in particular, relies heavily on robust coastal infrastructure connections.
Supply Chain Strategies Are Still Going Strong
The renewable energy industry will continue to adapt its supply chains to address recent challenges, including logistics-related cost pressures and US-China trade tensions. In 2022, developers are likely to shift toward alternative suppliers, including domestic manufacturers, whenever possible. Supply needs will be reassessed, and alternative solutions will be explored to alleviate these pressures.
The Circular Economy: Critical to Sustainable Growth
Managing end-of-life (EoL) products and materials in the renewable energy industry will gain increased attention as early installations near the end of their useful life. Emphasizing EoL management can reduce waste, enhance resource security, and create additional financial value and sustainability credentials. AS Acquisitions emphasizes the urgency to find solutions for waste generation, as decommissioned PV modules and lithium-ion batteries are expected to contribute to significant waste volumes. The industry is already exploring solutions to extend product life, enhance performance, and repurpose waste materials.
With the rising focus on climate change and ESG considerations, the renewable energy sector is poised for significant growth in 2022. AS Acquisitions highlights the key trends, including next-generation clean energy technologies, new solar industry configurations, transmission infrastructure development, supply chain adaptations, and circular economy strategies. By staying informed and embracing these trends, stakeholders can navigate the evolving renewable energy landscape and contribute to a sustainable future.