DOE issues annual update on clean energy development

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Sept. 28 released a new report that highlights the accelerated deployment of five clean energy technologies: wind turbines, solar technologies for both utility-scale and distributed photovoltaic (PV), electric vehicles (EVs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The report, called “Revolution…Now,” was announced by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz during a discussion at The Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum.

This report is annually updated and describes the decreasing cost and increasing deployment of clean-energy technologies in the United States.

“This report is further proof that our commitment to clean energy and American innovation can lead to steep cost reductions and sharp increases in the deployment of advanced technologies,” Moniz said. “We need to continue pushing the innovation agenda that leads to these kinds of dramatic cost reductions for all low-carbon technologies and increases America’s competitiveness and independence in the global clean energy economy.”

DOE’s continued investments in the research and advancement of the five clean energy technologies highlighted in the report have contributed to price reductions from 40% to as high as 94% since 2008. Highlights from the report detail the dramatic increases in America’s clean energy deployment, which include:

  • Land-based wind accounted for 41% of all new capacity brought online in 2015. Overall, wind generated enough electricity to power more than 17 million households. 
  • Utility-scale solar PV represented 15% of all newly-installed electricity generation capacity in 2015. Overall utility-scale PV generated enough electricity to power over 2 million homes.
  • Distributed solar PV has reached one million rooftop installations on homes and businesses after experiencing a 54% reduction in overall costs since 2008.
  • In total, wind and solar accounts for two-thirds of all new, U.S. installed electricity capacity.

Solar power saved 17 million metric tons of CO2 in 2014 – leading to reduced water consumption and decreased air pollution that equate to nearly $700 million in environmental savings, said the report.

In addition to these five rapidly-growing technologies, the report also discusses four emerging technologies. These additional technologies – fuel cells, grid-connected batteries, energy management systems and big area additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3-D printing – are on the cusp of wider deployment in the coming years. 

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.