2015 was a Record-Setting Year for Renewables. 2016 Promises to Maintain the Momentum.

January 15, 2016 Amy Haddon

2015 in a Nutshell:

  • Combined, utility-scale wind and solar made up more than 98,000 MW of new power capacity in 2015.
  • Of this new renewable energy capacity, corporate buyers alone locked in over 3 GW of wind and solar through Power Purchase Agreements.
  • A trifecta of regulations (The Clean Power Plan, Paris Agreements, and extensions of PTC & ITC) establish stable and predictable market conditions for continued expansion of renewable technologies.

Our Predictions:

2015 was a historic year for the renewable energy industry. In addition to the major milestones for clean energy generation, we saw the market take crucial steps toward  cheaper and more accessible wind and solar energy generation. To put a cherry on top of a record-setting year for renewables and clean energy production, Congress’s swift 5-year extension of the Production Tax Credit promises to bring at least 14 GW more wind to the grid than previously predicted. This economic boost fosters an environment where improving wind technology will encourage construction of new wind farms across the nation. Not only will increased  renewable capacity bring clean energy options to new markets, but it will also open up lucrative investment opportunities for organizations looking to have a stake in this accelerating industry. Companies pursuing renewable energy in 2016 can look to examples of successful corporate PPAs, like Salesforce and Philips, whose deals comprise a significant chunk of the impressive 3 GW of wind and solar purchased by the private sector in 2015.

We expect 2016 to build upon last year’s momentum and then some. New technology and flexibility in energy buying will open up doors for both large and small buyers to capitalize on the current boom in renewable energy production. Following the spur of support for new renewable energy in 2015, there has never been a more opportune time to execute an enhanced energy strategy. For example, corporations such as Unilever and IKEA increasingly harness clean energy to meet both sustainability and financial goals for the years to come. Emerging deal structures such as the virtual Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) are coming forth as the primary tool sustainability leaders use to demonstrate cutting-edge responsibility, while adding value to their bottom line.

Download our official 2015 Brief now for a deeper dive into what this renewable energy tipping point means for you.


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