Clean energy deployments tumble 22% in Q3 to 3-year low as delayed projects rise to 36 GW: report

Source: By Robert Walton, Utility Dive • Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2022

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Clean energy developers brought just 3.4 GW of new capacity online in the third quarter of this year, the least in three years, according to a new report from American Clean Power, which advocates for energy transition policies.

Project delays accelerated during the third quarter, ACP said, in large part due to difficulties developers had in procuring solar panels. There were 14 GW delayed in the third quarter, and the total backlog of delayed projects now totals 36 GW. More than 60% of delayed projects are solar, according to the report.

Interconnection challenges and the previous phase-down schedule of the production tax credit also slowed developement, according to the report.

Despite the decline, the report says clean energy investments spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act will likely reverse the slide.

Third-quarter installations were down 22% from the same period last year, according to ACP. Year-to-date installations of 14.2 GW are down 18% relative to the same period in 2021.

Land-based wind installations declined the most, at 78% quarter-over-quarter. Solar installations fell 23%. Only battery storage installations posted growth, at 227%.

Looking ahead, ACP says the Inflation Reduction Act “is set to catalyze clean energy growth, ultimately more than tripling annual installations of wind, solar and battery storage by the end of the decade.”

The group said it anticipates the growth in clean energy development will deliver 550 GW of new projects by 2030.

The bill, passed by lawmakers in August, includes $369 billion in energy and climate spending and contains major tax credit provisions to spur emissions-free energy, electric vehicles and clean hydrogen.

Some analysts have speculated the Inflation Reduction Act could raise clean energy prices, however.

“The IRA aims to achieve many goals over the next decade, like reducing emissions at an accelerated rate. However, its name may become a misnomer if investment surges while supply chains remain constrained, fueling inflation,” according to a BofA Global Research report issued in September.