This Week in Climate & Clean Energy Wins: Week of 1/1/24

$11 Billion

The amount SunZia has closed in financing on what will become the largest clean energy project in the United States. 

1.8 Million

The number of EVs sold by Tesla in 2023.

$260 Million

The amount of investment that a new renewable energy-powered industrial park will attract in Nevada. 

This week in private sector news, SunZia has closed $11 billion in financing and launched construction on what will become the largest clean energy project in the United States. First Solar is selling $700 million worth of tax credits earned under the Inflation Reduction Act, marking the first significant transfer of its kind in the solar industry and setting a landmark precedent for the value and marketability of the Act’s tax credits. Tesla increased its electric vehicle (EV) sales by almost 20% at the end of 2023 – selling just over 1.8 million clean energy vehicles last year. 

According to new data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EV market is booming – making up more than fivefold of the share of new cars in the last three years. In 2023, the U.S. set solar installation records for a single year, with California generating the most solar energy, followed by Texas and Florida. Next week,  the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding a public meeting to discuss the agency’s newly proposed solar project in Nevada, which is expected to produce 550 megawatts (MW) if approved. As the growing clean energy sector continues to outpace the economy, climate tech is poised to be the hot new job market in 2024.

In Wisconsin, Alliant Energy has completed six new solar projects, adding 514 MW of solar energy to its solar generation capacity and increasing customer access to renewable energy.

 

Private Sector

  • SunZia has closed $11 billion in financing and launched construction on the largest clean energy project in the U.S. [Electrek, 12/28/2023]  
    • The two project arms, SunZia Wind and SunZia Transmission, will employ more than 2,000 workers. 
  • First Solar is selling $700 million worth of tax credits earned under the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. [Louisiana Illuminator, 1/2/2023
    • The sale marks the first significant transfer of its kind in the solar industry and establishes the value and marketability of IRA tax credits. 
  • Tesla increased its fourth-quarter electric vehicle sales by almost 20% at the end of 2023. [AP, 1/2/2024
    • For the full year, Tesla sold just over 1.8 million vehicles, up 37.7% from its 2022 numbers. 

 

New Reports

  • The EV market is surging ahead, increasing the share of new cars by more than fivefold in the last three years. [American Prospect, 1/2/2024]
    • At this pace of acceleration, EVs will make up half of new car sales by approximately 2026.
  • The U.S. set solar installation records for a single year in 2023, with California generating the most solar energy, followed by Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona. [AP, 12/27/2023]
    • Solar is now the cheapest form of electricity in a majority of countries around the globe.
  • Climate tech might be the hot job market in 2024, as the growing clean energy sector has outpaced the economy as a whole in the past two years. [Tech Crunch, 1/1/2024]
    • Through 2032, when the Inflation Reduction Act is set to expire, the fastest-growing job fields include wind turbine technician and solar photovoltaic installer.

 

Biden Administration

  • Next week BLM is hold public meetings to discuss the agency’s proposed Parker Butte solar project in Nevada. [BLM, 12/28/2023]
    • The project proposes 550 MW alternating current solar photovoltaic generation and energy storage project with a 345kV generation interconnection transmission line.

 

State-Level  

  • Alliant Energy announced it has completed six new solar projects in Wisconsin, adding 514 MW of solar energy to its solar generation capacity and increasing customer access to renewable energy. [Renewable Energy Magazine, 1/2/2023]
    • These projects are among 12 Alliant Energy solar projects in Wisconsin. Once all 12 projects are operable, they will be able to generate 1,089 MW and power nearly 300,000 homes annually.