Going Clean in 2019: Top Clean Energy Predictions

The new year is a time for growth and renewal. Clean technology is booming and exciting prospects flicker on the horizon. This year, we are optimistic that we will cross new bridges in clean energy innovation and see our energy sector transform for the better.

Now that we’re a few weeks into 2019, we would like to share our top three predictions for how things will shake out in the world of clean energy this year.

1) U.S. will become third-largest Liquified Natural Gas exporter in the world

Cleaner-burning Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is a growing business in the U.S., and as our LNG export capacity is set to double in 2019, the LNG industry should elevate the U.S. to third place in the global market.

The American Petroleum Institute, Center for LNG, and LNG Allies, three of the large national trade associations that deal with domestic LNG, recently released a joint press announcement detailing their excitement for our LNG industry this year.

“As American LNG exports increase throughout 2019, thousands of new jobs will be created in the United States, millions of people in the developing world will be lifted from energy poverty, and global greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced as clean U.S. natural gas displaces coal in industrial and electric power applications. When you also factor in the geostrategic and competitive advantages of U.S. LNG—especially in markets that have long been dominated by a monopolistic gas supplier—this is truly a win-win-win situation,” said Fred Hutchison, President and CEO of LNG Allies.

2) Solar development will increase in final year of tax credit

2019 marks the last year that business and homeowners can cash in on the full solar investment tax credit of 30 percent before it begins to phase out in the coming years.

In 2015, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was extended to allow the solar industry to fully mature, but in 2020 the tax credit will be dropped to 26 percent, then to 22 percent in 2021, before the credit will permanently be dropped to 10 percent for commercial players and removed altogether for residential projects.

This year will see businesses and homeowners scramble to ramp up their solar energy developments before the tax credit drops in 2020. With solar tech costs falling all the time, and an increasingly receptive grid infrastructure, solar developments should make great strides in 2019.

3) New renewable energy projects will double new gas projects

The falling price of renewable energy is beginning to give traditional fuel projects a run for their money. As new energy sources become more financially viable, the competition should heat up considerably in 2019.

EIA just released their latest inventory of electric generators, and according to their data, the U.S. power industry as a whole is expected add 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity additions this year, as well as 8.3 GW of capacity retirements, most of which will be coal and natural gas facilities.

According to the EIA’s research, this year’s new capacity additions will be wind (46%), natural gas (34%), and solar photovoltaics (18%). The final 2 percent will account for other renewables and battery storage capacity.

The number show that clean energy is set to take off in 2019, and that will be good news for energy prices and job reports. Ratepayers can expect to see greater competition in America’s grid, as more energy sources are vying for position. Jobseekers will have new opportunities to find good careers in the expanding energy industry.

So here’s to going clean in 2019 – may this year be the best yet for American development in clean energy.

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