As American Clean Power’s (ACP)’s first year comes to a close, we want to take a moment to reflect on all that our clean energy industry achieved, together in 2021. ACP was created to unite the power of America’s clean energy industry. Our trade association brings together wind, solar, transmission and storage companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, project developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms, and corporate purchasers of clean power to advance our shared goals and to transform the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable, and renewable power system.
2021 was the year that scales started to tip and the clean energy transition accelerated to the point of no return. ACP thanks all of our clean power member companies for their partnership in what has been an exciting first year for ACP, and a year of record growth across the renewable energy sector.
When we look back at 2021, it’s clear that despite an ongoing pandemic and volatile politics, when we unite people, technology, and policy, we are capable of achieving great outcomes to support our clean energy members’ interest in federal and state legislation. Together, we advocated for innovative approaches to solving one of our nation’s most urgent challenges — accelerating the clean energy transition, and we had a strong year:
- Transmission: Ensuring important new effective federal siting authority for transmission lines in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – the largest investment in the grid in American history. The bipartisan support for the infrastructure legislation is a powerful example of what we can get done for American clean power when our leaders come together.
- Tax Credits: Working with Congress to shape new and extended tax credits for clean energy and transmission.
- IRS Guidance: Securing favorable guidance from the Treasury and IRS providing 2016-2020 vintage wind and solar projects with additional time to finish without putting tax credits at risk.
- Tariffs: Coordinating industry efforts to push back against renewals of existing tariffs on solar products and initiation of new tariffs, providing more certainty for future deployment.
- Offshore Wind: Hosting the Offshore WINDPOWER Conference, where U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland outlined new administration plans to expand offshore wind development across almost all U.S. coasts and published a long-term leasing schedule, building on prior announcements advancing several pending projects and making progress in finalizing additional areas for leasing.
- Industry Events: Hosting an impressive line-up of speakers at CLEANPOWER 2021 in Salt Lake City with Vice President Kamala Harris addressing attendees, along with White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and her deputy, Ali Zaidi.
- CLEANPOWER Attendees also heard from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Pulitzer Prize winning author and energy expert Daniel Yergin. It was impressive to tour the tradeshow floor, visit the sustainability tour and see our industry come together. (Take a look back at our CLEANPOWER 2021 just two weeks ago in Salt Lake City)
- Industry expansion: Merging with the Energy Storage Association to strengthen the leading voice for the renewable industry.
And we did all of this together, proving that clean energy policy is red, white, and blue — in states that are red, blue, and purple where our industry is booming:
- America installed more wind, solar, and energy storage this year than any previous year.
- Utilities and corporate buyers announced more than 17 gigawatts of clean power contracts — with a record 110 gigawatts of clean power under construction or in advanced development — representing hundreds of billions of dollars in capital investments that support great new jobs.
- We now have enough wind, solar, and energy storage to power 53 million American homes.
- Renewables are providing over 19% of the country’s electricity, with 19 states and DC generating more than 25% of their electricity from clean power, and 8 states providing more than 50% of their electricity from renewables.
- The first offshore wind project built in federal waters started construction this year, and is expected to generate 800 megawatts and 500+ union jobs for the project’s construction and installation.
Considerable progress has been made this year, but of course, there is still much more work to do. We invite you to watch our year in review video, which recaps all that we have accomplished as an organization this year.
We look forward to continuing this important work for our industry in the coming year and beyond. On behalf of all of us at ACP, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.