Recently there has been some coverage by the business media about renewable energy market fundamentals because of one high-profile company’s challenges, so it might be a good time to review: there is an abundance of successful wind and solar energy companies, and demand is high for their products both domestically and abroad.
In fact, the market for renewable energy has never been stronger. As Mashable reported on a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance:
“In the latest indication that renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are ascendant worldwide, a new report finds that, in 2015, a record-breaking $286 billion was invested in renewable energy capacity worldwide. The report shows that the renewable energy market remains dominated by solar and wind power, which added 118 gigawatts of generating capacity in 2015, far exceeding the previous record of 94 gigawatts in 2014.”
In the U.S., wind was the largest source of new electricity generation in 2015, with more wind coming online than solar or natural gas last year. New wind installations were up 77 percent over 2014. There’s now enough wind energy in the country to power 19 million American homes.
An additional 9.4 gigawatts (GW) of wind are currently under construction, and another 4.9 GW are in the advanced stages of development, evidence that growth is unlikely to slow any time soon.
Many wind companies are not publicly traded, and thus their successes remain out of the spotlight. However, with cost declines of 66 percent over the last six years, wind has become a hot commodity for Fortune 500 companies and others looking to make good on their low-carbon pledges, as well as lock in low electricity rates for the future.
While any one company’s difficulties and particular business decisions may remain in the news for a while, the U.S. renewable energy industry as a whole is thriving.