Full Title: Accelerating U.S. Clean Energy Deployment Through Investment Grade Policy
Author(s): Hal Harvey, Mike O’Boyle, Anand Gopal, and Elli Newman
Publisher(s): Energy Innovation
Publication Date: September 5, 2023
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Plummeting prices for wind, solar and storage have made them the cheapest choice for almost all new power projects. And yet, renewables still aren’t growing fast enough to meet our climate goals because financing risk continues holding them back. New Energy Innovation research highlights the biggest financing risks renewable projects face and how public policy can overcome them. Mitigating financing risk can lower renewable energy costs by up to 50 percent while speeding up deployment.
Because of significant reductions in the cost of clean energy, economics are no longer the prime barrier to expanding clean energy: Solar, onshore and offshore wind, and battery power now cost the same or even less than fossil fuels. But significant non-financial barriers to wider deployment remain. Clean energy deployment is rife with uncertainties, most of them unnecessary. These uncertainties are constraining clean energy deployment right when it should be accelerating.
The risk factors for clean energy deployment fall into three main groups: technology or performance risk, project development risk, and market uncertainty risk.
Smart public policy can help minimize the risks, and fewer risks mean faster, lower-cost deployment. Ultimately, this will drive down costs for both clean energy developers and consumers, while ensuring the U.S. and other countries reach their greenhouse gas goals.