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Three Renewable Energy Things to Observe in 2021

In 2020, the clean energy sector witnessed a banner year. The global economy built a record number of additional renewable capacities in the year 2020, primarily driven by rising demand in the United States and China, as per International Energy Agency (IEA). As a whole, renewable energy accounts for 90 percent of the overall new electricity generation capacity installed in 2020. And as successful as 2020 has been, clean energy might be an even better year in 2021. Here are 3 factors investors in the New Year should be keeping tabs on.

1. A continuing acceleration in the field of renewable energy

Although 2020 was a fantastic year for renewables, the pandemic kept it slightly downward as it triggered some delays due to the global economic decline. During the third quarter, for instance, sales of solar panels as well as other items such as inverters were well below their pre-pandemic rate in the United States of America. But in 2021, those headwinds could vanish. Fresh tailwinds can, meanwhile, remain strong. For instance, the IEA expects the European Union and India to engage the United States and China in increasing their move towards renewables in the New Year. In the third quarter, this tailwind began picking up. Solar inverter manufacturer SolarEdge Technologies (NASDAQ: SEDG) stated that as its “third-quarter numbers confirm significant development in Europe,” its “solar sector outside of the United States hit an all-time peak.”

2 Over the years, the battery storage cost has decreased significantly. A decade earlier, a 4-hour battery storage adder for both the wind and solar power project cost between $71 and $81 per megawatt-hour (MWh). However, by 2020, the cost of installing a part for battery storage had plunged to about $6-$12 per MWh.  By 2022, it is presently on course to drop to a rate of $4-$9 per MWh. In the future, more projects will require battery storage due to the drastic decrease in costs. Battery storage was the only 28percent of utility-scale energy plants installed in 2019. Still, the majority of the projects constructed in 2021 will probably feature it as NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) wants to overcharge the country’s battery storage capacity. In contrast to using battery storage in newly constructed projects, businesses are also likely to be retrofitting more current systems with it in 2021.

3 The majority of energy forecasters do not agree that the planet can accomplish the target of being emissions-free for solar and wind power alone. Multiple leading renewable energy developers such as Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) claim that “we might require new carbon-free dispatchable technologies — innovations not yet available commercially at the price and size required to achieve our 2050 goal.” Green hydrogen is one emission-free technology that has immense potential. The above technology uses green energy to power a hydrogen-producing electrolysis device that can substitute natural gas in a power plant, for instance.

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