From the campaign trail to national news reports to industry expert commentary, we've all heard plenty of hype surrounding renewable energy technologies lately. The onslaught of attention given to generating new capacity from wind, hydroelectric, solar, landfill gas, and other renewable energy sources appears to be warranted, however, at least if you look at the latest numbers from Industrial Info Resources (IIR), a marketing information service specializing in industrial process, energy, and financial-related markets based in Sugar Land, Texas.
According to IIR, there is currently 32,000MW of renewable energy scheduled to begin construction in the United States this year. Currently, in excess of 9,000MW of renewable energy sources are already under construction, more than half of which came online by the end of January.
Although an additional 133,000MW of renewable energy projects have been proposed for construction between 2009 and 2014 in the United States, IIR suggests considerable project fallout can be expected as time goes by. Difficulty in securing financing, permitting hurdles, and not-in-my-backyard actions are a few of the leading reasons for expected delays or cancelations. Furthermore, many of these projects are competing with one or more similar projects for a predetermined amount of capacity to be bought by a utility or other entity. Under this scenario, a limited amount of capacity is selected to move forward, while the projects not chosen are canceled or delayed until the next opportunity.
By far, wind leads all other renewable energy sources in terms of the amount of capacity scheduled for kickoff over the next six years, with 89,000MW proposed. Additionally, more than 7,000MW of new solar capacity is proposed to start construction during this time.