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BMI View: Following a decade of robust and consistent growth, the US’s non-hydropower renewables industry is set to moderate over our 10-year forecast period to 2021, as it faces a number of significant challenges. We maintain our view that the US will remain as one of the global renewables leaders, owing to the vast size of its market, however the lack of a national regulatory framework for renewables and the uncertainty surrounding the country’s subsidy programmes weigh heavily on our growth projections for the industry.
The US remains a global powerhouse of renewable energy, with high levels of investment continuing to pour into the sector. Key trends and recent developments within the US renewables industry include:
• There have been major changes to the government’s subsidy programmes of late. The 1603 Treasury Grant Programme expired on December 31 2011, and the Production Tax Credit is planned to expire at the end of 2012.
• Private companies who have shown little interest in the energy industry until now – including Google Inc, KKR & Co, Warren Buffet, MetLife Inc and John Hancock Life Insurance Co. – have invested a combined total exceeding US$500mn into the renewables industry in the last year.
• The US Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced plans for a new offshore wind energy initiative to help to catalyse the industry’s development in March 2012, with US$180mn to be assigned over the next six years to the industry.
• The Cape Wind power project (the US’s first offshore wind project) gained its fourth clearance by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in August 2012, which rules that the project does not pose a hazard to local airplanes.
• The United States’ US$29bn smart meter programme recently entered a period of volatility, with consumers having raised concerns over the cost of bills and data security. This has led to a number of US utility firms offering opt-out fees to consumers. A number of other firms have announced they are postponing their smart meter programmes.
Executive Summary 5
SWOT Analysis 6
United States Renewables SWOT .. 6
Industry Forecast Scenario . 7
Table: United States Total Electricity Generation Data And Forecasts, 2010 – 2016 7
Table: United States Total Electricity Generation Long Term Forecasts, 2015 – 2021 . 9
Table: United States Electricity Generating Capacity Data And Forecasts, 2010 – 2016 11
Table: United States Electricity Generating Capacity Long Term Forecasts, 2015 – 2021.. 13
Renewables Projects Database 20
Table: United States Major Projects – Renewables 20
Sustainable Energy Policy and Infrastructure 26
Subsidies . 27
Table: Renewable Feed-In Tariffs In The United States, 2012 . 27
Infrastructure .. 30
Risk/Reward Ratings . 32
United States Renewables Risk/Reward Ratings . 32
Rewards .. 32
Risks … 33
Competitive Landscape 34
Iberdola .. 34
Exelon . 34
NextEra/FPL … 34
Mid-American/PacifiCorp .. 35
Solar Manufacturers: Suntech Power Holdings, Trina Solar, LDK Solar, Westinghouse Solar, First Solar … 35
Glossary of Terms . 36
Table: Glossary of Terms 36
Methodology and Sources 37
Industry Forecasts .. 37
Renewables Industry – Data Methodology … 38
Generation Data . 38
Electricity Generation Capacity Data . 38
Power Risk/Reward Ratings Methodology … 39
Table: Power Risk/Reward Indicators 41
Sources … 42
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