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2024 U.S. Clean Electricity Outlook

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The following content is sponsored by the National Public Utilities Council

2024 U.S. Clean Electricity Outlook

As the world urgently seeks sustainable energy solutions, the U.S. has the opportunity to lead the charge in the shift toward clean electricity.

But what kind of progress can the country expect in the upcoming year? 

To find out, we partnered with the National Public Utilities Council to visualize the projected 2024 electricity generation capacity of clean energy technologies in the U.S., using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

The Rise of Battery Storage and Solar Power

Looking ahead to 2024, U.S. generation capacity projections unveil a promising trajectory for battery storage and solar power. Battery storage is projected to grow by 82% compared to 2023 estimates, while solar is projected to grow by 40%.

Wind power is also growing, albeit at a slower rate (5%) due to higher costs and permitting challenges, especially for offshore projects. 

Electricity Generation Capacity Projections20232024Change
Battery Storage17 GW31 GW+82%
Solar93 GW130 GW+40%
Wind149 GW156 GW+5%
Nuclear96 GW97 GW+1%
Geothermal3 GW3 GW0%
Hydro80 GW80 GW0%

As illustrated in the table above, the EIA projects a modest year for the rest of the major clean electricity sources in the nation, with nuclear expected to eke out a lackluster 1% growth, while hydro and geothermal remain unchanged. 

Overall, these projections underscore a diversification of the U.S. energy portfolio, with a pronounced emphasis on renewables and energy storage. The growth in battery storage capacity, specifically, underscores efforts to overcome the intermittency challenges of renewables, ultimately ensuring a reliable and emission-free power supply in the country.

The Broader U.S. Power Sector in 2024

Beyond capacity projections, let’s also take a look at some projected trends related to the broader U.S. power sector in 2024. 

  • U.S. daily electricity generation is projected to grow by 3% between 2023 and 2024, reflecting an increasing demand for power in the country. 
  • Renewables are set to claim an even larger slice of the U.S. electricity mix in 2024, rising from 22% in 2023 to 24%
  • Electricity production from coal is projected to decline by 9% as the country continues its move away from this emission-intensive energy source. 
  • Despite the country’s projected growth in clean electricity capacity, total U.S. energy-related emissions are projected to drop by 0.1% in 2024. 

All in all, the 2024 landscape of the U.S. power sector signifies progress with increased renewables and heightened electricity generation. However, the marginal dip in emissions emphasizes the need to ramp-up country-wide efforts to meet the goal of a net-zero future.

Learn how the National Public Utilities Council is working toward the future of sustainable electricity.

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Energy Shift

Visualized: The Evolution of Energy Employment (2022–2030P)

This graphic shows the projected evolution of global energy employment between 2022 and 2030 using data by the International Energy Agency.

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the preview image for a waterfall chart showing the projected evolution of global energy employment between 2022 and 2030.

The Evolution of Energy Employment (2022–2030P)

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), just over half of the 67 million people employed in the global energy industry in 2022 worked in the clean energy sector: 35 million vs. 32 million in fossil fuels. And with the clean energy transition picking up pace, that gap is set to widen. 

In this graphic created in partnership with the National Public Utilities Council, we explore how global energy employment could change by 2030 in a current policy scenario, using projections from the IEA.

The Rise in Clean Energy Employment

The IEA’s current policy scenario is a conservative projection for progress in line with the present trajectory of our energy system. It doesn’t assume that nations will reach their announced goals or that net zero will be achieved by 2050. 

Even within this conservative scenario, the global energy sector is projected to have a net gain of 5.7 million jobs by 2030. Except for the 300,000 jobs added in the oil and gas supply industry, these jobs are all in clean energy.

In a more ambitious scenario, aligned with achieving net zero by 2050, the net gain in jobs is projected to nearly triple to 17 million.

Changes in global energy employment 2022–2030P, millions of jobsCurrent policies scenarioNet-zero emissions 2050 scenario
Coal supply-1.4-2.8
Internal combustion engine vehicles-1.1-6.2
Unabated fossil fuel electricity-0.2-1.2
Critical minerals+0.2+0.7
Oil and gas supply+0.3-2.5
Low-emissions fuels+0.4+3.2
End-use efficiency+1.2+3.2
Energy grids and storage+1.4+3.8
Low-emission electricity+1.7+11
Electric vehicles and batteries+3.2+7.7
Net job creation+5.7+16.9

In both scenarios, the global energy industry is poised to create millions of new jobs in the coming years, with the job gains in the clean energy sector significantly outweighing the job losses in the fossil fuel industry.

A People-Centred Transition

With projected growth of this magnitude, the IEA emphasizes that policymakers and industry must support employee transitions from fossil fuels and address skill gaps in emerging industries through education and training.

According to the World Energy Employment report, continued efforts in these areas are crucial to prevent labor shortages and avoid delays in the clean energy transition.

Learn how the National Public Utilities Council is working toward the future of sustainable electricity.

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Clean Energy

Charted: Progress on 2030 Renewable Energy Targets by Country

In this graphic, we visualize whether major electricity-consuming countries are on track to meet their 2030 renewable energy targets.

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which countries are on track to meet their 2030 renewabl energy targets

Progress on 2030 Renewable Energy Targets by Country

The International Energy Agency states that the global installed capacity of renewable energy must triple by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 

This makes the next six years critical in the climate fight, with the upcoming United Nations COP28 event in Dubai representing a great time to assess the progress of countries toward achieving their 2030 targets. 

Checking in on Progress

As set out by their Nationally Determined Contributions in the Paris Agreement, many countries, including major electricity consumers such as the U.S., European Union, China, India, and the UK, have set ambitious targets for increasing their solar and wind power generation capacities by 2030. 

The data, however, suggests that many are struggling to keep pace with the required annual capacity additions that will allow them to hit these targets. 

Currently, China stands out as the only nation on track to meet its 2030 target. In 2022, it not only met but significantly exceeded its required capacity additions to remain on track, adding 168% of the required 101 GW. 

Let’s now take a closer look at how each of these countries are faring, comparing how much wind and solar capacity they needed to add with how much they actually did in 2022.

Country / Region2030 TargetAnnual Average Wind and Solar Capacity Additions
Needed to Hit 2030 Target
Actual Capacity Additions in 2022
WindSolarTotalWindSolarTotal
India40% zero-carbon generation by 2030 (includes nuclear)16 GW19 GW35 GW2 GW18 GW20 GW
China28% renewables by 203057 GW44 GW101 GW55 GW115 GW170 GW
United States739 GW of wind and solar by 2030 to reach zero-carbon electricity by 203534 GW35 GW69 GW11 GW21 GW32 GW
United Kingdom60% renewables by 20304 GW3 GW7 GW4 GW1 GW5 GW
European UnionREPowerEU: 42.5% renewables by 203038 GW48 GW86 GW16 GW38 GW54 GW

Overall, the U.S. and India were the furthest off from their targets in 2022, adding only 46% and 57% of what was needed, respectively. European countries, on the other hand, made progress but still need substantial annual additions to meet their targets by 2030.

Playing Catch-Up: The Path to 2030

Collectively, the U.S., European Union, China, India, and the UK account for more than 60% of global electricity consumption, underscoring their profound responsibility in decarbonizing their electricity sectors.

Investments in research and development, policy support, and infrastructure development are all crucial pieces of the puzzle when it comes to achieving 2030 targets. 

With swift and bold action, these nations have an opportunity to transform the global energy landscape and move the needle toward achieving net-zero on a global scale.

Learn more about how electric utilities and the power sector can lead on the path toward decarbonization here.

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