Finance, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind - April 7, 2020
Renewables' share of market stays strong despite falling gas prices
Renewable energy is expected to account for nearly 21% of the electricity in the United States this year, the highest percentage ever, despite falling oil and gas prices as the COVID-19 crisis upends the world economy.
According to a report from the New York Times, wind and solar are expected to continue growing this year as oil, gas and coal companies face economic turmoil. Wind and solar have been producing electricity more cheaply than natural gas and coal in some parts of the world, and while oil prices have dropped dramatically, natural gas and coal prices have not seen the same fate. The amount of renewables in the U.S. market has been increasing year after year, with it accounting for 18% last year and 10% in 2010.
However, the renewables industry is not immune to the economic uncertainty plaguing the world. Installations are down significantly as people fear coming into contact with the coronavirus and, according to the Times, the Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that half of the 250,000 workers in the industry could lose their jobs during the crisis as projected solar growth drops by as much as one-third.
On the other hand, wind production is not expected to see the same drop, as most wind projects are constructed away from urban areas and wouldn’t be affected by social distancing rules. Experts estimate a drop of only about 3% in new wind installations from earlier projections.
Renewable electricity sources continue to be a growing favorite worldwide as their projects take less time to construct and are often cheaper to source from than natural gas or coal. While projected development will fall during the COVID-19 crisis, the industry will continue to add capacity throughout the year and beyond.