The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Quick Look: Renewable Energy Development in the U.S.

Developers, manufacturers, investors and other renewable energy industry stakeholders need to know where the next big market is going to be so that they can adjust their business decisions accordingly.

Since 2003, global consultancy Ernst & Young has released its Country Attractiveness Indices, which gives a numerical ranking to 30 global renewable energy markets by scoring renewable energy investment strategies and resource availability. The indices are updated on a quarterly basis and the most recent report can be found here.

Here is the firm’s assessment of the U.S.

Onshore wind

The wind sector in the US continues to be hard-hit by an unfavorable policy environment and adverse macroeconomic conditions. MAKE Consulting has lowered its forecast for wind turbine installations in the US by 23% between 2010 and 2015. It is estimated that poor market conditions have led to a 71% fall in the construction of US wind farms compared with the same period in 2009, with Bloomberg NEF predicting only 6GW of turbine installations this year compared with 9GW in 2009.

A particular issue has been the continual low natural gas prices, which are bringing down the cost of gas-fired electricity. This is making it increasingly hard for wind project developers to negotiate attractive power purchase agreements with US utilities.

In the second half of 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a conditional commitment to provide a partial loan guarantee to support the world’s largest wind farm to date, the 845MW Caithness Shepherds Flat project in Oregon. The US$1.3b (€933m) project will implement 338 General Electric 2.5MW turbines, and represents the largest project to date to receive a DOE loan guarantee offer under the support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Offshore wind

While onshore wind has been suffering in recent months, offshore wind in the US is demonstrating strong growth potential, with 5GW of planned offshore wind projects in the pipeline.

A new 350-mile (563-km) Atlantic Wind Connection is being developed to connect 6GW of offshore wind turbines between Virginia to New Jersey. This backbone transmission project is being funded by Google and other investors at an estimated cost of US$5b (€3.6b).

New Jersey also recently signed a bill named New Offshore Wind Economic Development Act to develop a program of offshore renewable energy tax credits that supports 1.1GW of offshore wind installations. It is hoped that these credits will help developers secure project financing.


The US CSP market is expected to surge following approvals for a significant number of projects.

BrightSource Energy is planning to build a 392MW solar thermal plant in California based on Distributed Power Tower and heliostat mirror technology. The project should be operational in 2013 and is supported by US$1.4b (€1b) in DOE loan guarantees. Tessera Solar’s 664MW Calico solar plant was also recently approved. The US$1.75b (€1.25b) installation will utilize Stirling’s SunCatcher dish technology.

The Department of the Interior has approved the installation of the world’s largest solar energy project, the 1GW Blythe Solar Power Project, which will utilize parabolic trough collector technology and is due to come on line in 2013. Other projects include NextEra’s 250MW Beacon Solar Energy Project and the Genesis Solar Energy Project/Imperial Valley Solar Project, with a combined capacity of 959MW.

For more information on renewable energy development in the U.S., contact the report’s author Michael Bernier.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



Evaluating the Case for Module-Level Shutdown

Hannes Knopf With 2014 NEC adoption in full swing, many are anticipating what the next version of the code will hold for the PV in...

A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

Listen Up: Can I Get Solar if my Roof is Shaded?

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World Rooftop solar panels only work when they are in direct sunlight. So if you have a partially shaded roof, the output o...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

PRESS RELEASES Welcomes Jennifer Delony as Associate Editor

PennWell Corporation is pleased to announce that Jennifer Delony has joined the company...

Customized Energy Solutions Executes Agreement with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (“MassCEC”) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”) for Important Energy Storage Study

Customized Energy Solutions (CES) has entered into agreements with Massachusetts Clean ...

CleanTX Releases New White Paper on the Future of Texas Solar in Texas

We love this new White Paper from our clean energy partners CleanTX

Sun Xtender® Launches New Website at

The newly designed website for Sun Xtender solar batteries is now live on the World Wid...


energy efficiency

Beyond the Trend: Maximizing the Impact of Your Energy Efficiency Solution

A revolution is happening in the energy sector. From the new regulations pushed out earlier this summer by the EPA’s ...

Northeast States Create Cap-and-Trade Program for Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Northeast states have worked together for several decades to address air quality issues and, more recently, climate c...

Why the Solar PV Industry Should Love Geothermal Heat Pumps Pt 2

It’s a marriage made in heaven: Solar PV and Geothermal Heat Pumps Part 2 of a 6-Part Series Prevailing Heati...

Park District Goes Solar, Saves Big While Preserving Open Space

Not only do community parks provide green space for recreation and leisure, they also increase property values, attra...



Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Power Asset Management and Performance

SEIA and SEPA collaborated with industry leaders to present the first ev...

Solar Power Northeast

  From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sol...


Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar fina...

Fast facts: 4 things you need to know about the state of solar financing...

10 Questions You Should Be Asking

Tony Robbins is fond of saying that the quality of your life is directly...

Join us at the New Solar Power Northeast

From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sold out P...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now