L R AS Published on Sunday 1 October 2023 - n° 459 - Categories:US policy, the American PV

The United States would have to spend $12,000 billion over 30 years to adapt its production and network.

Norwegian consultancy DNV estimates that North America will spend $12,000 billion by 2050. This will be split between clean energy production ($7,000 billion) on the one hand, and renewable energy transmission and operational expenditure ($5,000 billion) on the other.

Of the $7,000 billion in production expenditure,

2,300 billion would be allocated to photovoltaic solar energy, and $1,600 billion to wind power. (Editor's note: what about the rest?)

Solar photovoltaic energy will have overtaken all other renewable sources in terms of capacity by 2027. It will be the most important production technology by the mid-2030s. The cost of electricity (LCOE) will be $20/MWh by 2050. Solar electricity + storage would cost $36/MWh. (Editor's note: that's a long way to go before setting such price targets).

The American trade union SEIA estimates that, since the IRA was adopted (in August 2022), the solar energy and storage industries have added $100 billion to the US economy. This amount comes mainly from manufacturing announcements.

The grid

Grids and transmission are a concern for the US energy transition. DNV estimates that the US interconnection system will need to more than double in capacity by 2050, at an annual growth rate of 3%. Increased penetration of solar power - as well as other renewables - requires more high-voltage, long-distance transmission lines and a more resilient and versatile low-voltage distribution network.

The influx of new renewable energy projects will force grids to adapt. For the moment, the lack of an extension programme has created large queues. The lack of interconnection reduces the attractiveness of RE extension programmes and keeps investors and developers away. For the time being!


PV Tech of 27 September 2023

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