Solar and wind power is now the least expensive way to reliably generate electricity. A Jan. 16, 2020 Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report finds that global renewable energy investment was more than $282 billion last year, a slight increase over 2018 investments. Here in the United States, new renewable energy investments in 2019 set a record high at $5.55 billion. The power surge in the US comes as solar and wind-generated electricity costs continue to plummet despite the Trump Administration’s ongoing effort to curtail incentives for solar and wind investment and production tax credits.
The US government funding program for 2020 passed by Congress and signed by President Trump did provide wind power a modest 2020 federal tax credit incentive extension. New wind energy projects that began in 2019 received a minimum one-year extension and are eligible for the 40% credit in 2020. Wind projects that start-up in 2020 will be eligible for a 60% credit. However, the U.S. wind power tax credit is scheduled to be completely phased out by the end of 2020. At the same time, the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) announced that Congressional lawmakers ignored extending investment tax credits for 2020 to new solar power projects.
Meanwhile, President Trump authorized $1.5 billion for nuclear energy research including $250 million to the Department of Energy to bolster Advanced Reactor Research.
London and New York, January 16, 2020 – Investment in renewable energy capacity worldwide was $282.2 billion last year, up 1% from 2018’s $280.2 billion, with the world’s biggest market (China) slipping back, but its second-largest (the U.S.) hitting a new record.
The latest data from research company BloombergNEF (BNEF), published today, show how what had been a subdued first few months of 2019 gave way to a busier second half, with the highlights including U.S. onshore wind and, in particular, offshore wind in China and Europe.