EIA predicts that the U.S. will deploy 4.3GW battery energy storage projects in 2021

According to a survey report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), by 2021, wind and solar power generation in the United States will account for more than two-thirds of renewable energy generation. And they plans to deploy battery energy storage systems in 2021. The capacity will increase more than four times.

Solar energy will still be the preferred energy sources in 2021energy storage

Sam Newell, chief analyst of Brattle Group, said that more than two-thirds of new solar power generation facilities in the United States will be equipped with battery energy storage systems.

Robert Whaley, chief analyst at Wood Mackenzie,said that at the current pace of deployment, by the early 2030s, American wind, solar, and energy storage systems may replace traditional energy sources as the main source of electricity. Although renewable energy has a long way to go to become the dominant energy source for the US grid, wind and solar energy will still be the preferred energy sources in 2021.

According to US Energy Information Administration (EIA) survey data, by the end of 2021, the United States plans to achieve 39.7GW of new power generation by the end of 2021. Natural gas power generation will account for more than 16% of this new capacity. The installed capacity of natural gas power generation facilities is expected to be 6.6GW. The installed capacity of wind power generation facilities deployed is expected to increase by 12.2 GW, lower than 21 GW in 2020.

Solar power generation will usher in another record year for deployment

By 2021, solar power generation facilities with an installed capacity of 15.4GW will be deployed. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the U.S. will deploy 4.3GW battery energy storage systems in 2021, more than four times the number in 2020.

Newell said that the growth of solar power generation has promoted the development of energy storage in many ways. He said that despite the independent deployment of battery energy storage projects, the industry has quickly turned to solar + energy storage projects as the preferred form, and two-thirds of solar power generation projects have been deployed with battery energy storage systems. Futhermore he pointed out that the frequency of supporting deployment of wind power and energy storage systems is much lower.

Newell said that since 2015, the deployment of renewable energy has exceeded the deployment of traditional energy. The rate at which renewable energy surpasses traditional power generation assets far exceeds expectations.

He said: “This situation has been going on for several years. Although wind power is expected to decline this year, the overall deployment of renewable energy resources is still growing, and is surpassing what people once thought was the saturation point of this intermittent power generation resource.”

Reasons for the rapid growth of renewable energy

Newell attributed this explosive growth to the rapid decline in the cost of renewable energy. The rate of decline far exceeded that of traditional energy technology, and even made some optimistic estimates on the speed of renewable energy deployment. The incentive policies of the US states have also played an important role. The regions with the fastest growth in the deployment of renewable energy are also those regions that have set ambitious targets for the development of renewable energy in the early stage.

Newell said that measures such as the introduction of a national carbon emission policy or renewable energy standards by next US government may prompt the deployment of more renewable energy.

He said: “This will make the cost of renewable energy much cheaper in some states,and more environmentally friendly.”

Wind power and solar power replace fossil fuel power generation as the source of most of the U.S. energy

Newell said that even if there is no change in policy, by 2030, the current use of renewable energy will allow wind power and solar power to replace fossil fuel power as the source of most of the US energy. Wood Mackenzie expects that renewable energy deployment will begin to grow steadily in 2033.

He said: “There is no doubt that all the growth momentum comes from renewable energy, and renewable energy dominates. However, solar power and wind power will still take some time to replace natural gas power generation.”

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