Three of the Southeastern states provide more than half the region's renewable power
Washington, D.C., January 29, 2014 - The Southeastern Region Report, the final portion of the American Council On Renewable Energy's (ACORE) 6th annual Renewable Energy in the 50 States report, was released today. The last in a four-part series, this portion focuses on the renewable energy sector in the fourteen Southeastern states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV). The report is a review of state energy policies and programs, investment, and market openness as they relate to the current state of renewable energy and its potential for further growth.
"The Southeast certainly has suitable renewable energy resources—like the tremendous biomass resources that are a dominant source of renewable power in the Southeast and now also exported to Europe," said Lesley Hunter, ACORE's Research and Program Manager and lead author of the report. "However, the Southeastern states have often been reluctant to create market signals attractive to renewable energy developers and investors –including appropriate incentives and government initiatives."
Just three states of the fourteen profiled in this report (North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia) have binding renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) that would attract investors, create jobs and send positive market signals. Excluding Texas, the nation's largest producer of wind power, the Southeast only attracted about 10% of the asset finance, venture capital, and private equity raised for renewable energy in the country in 2012 (and about 5% in the first nine months of 2013).
While ten of the 14 states in Southeast Region have no installed wind power capacity, two of the outliers are nationally recognized hubs for wind development: Texas and Oklahoma. To support the growth of the nation's largest wind power market, Texas is building a $7 billion transmission system designed to facilitate the transmission of about 18.5 GW of wind power from turbines located in West Texas to the population centers farther east in the state.
Louisiana and a few other states have developed emerging distributed generation markets, and Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida are home to larger-scale solar development. Georgia Power plans to have nearly 800 MW of solar power commissioned or under contract with developers by 2016. North Carolina has recently become one of the largest developing solar markets in the nation, ranking second in new solar capacity in 2013.
While the region as a whole lags behind national development trends, a few Southeastern states—notably North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas—have emerged as hotspots for growth. "One of the goals of the 50 State Report was to highlight the economic benefits of renewable energy that is supported by state policy. The data in the Report offers the opportunity to compare and contrast and will hopefully encourage states to take advantage of their resources to create jobs and attract investment," concluded Hunter.
Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Southeastern Region provides an executive summary for each state on the status of renewable energy implementation at the state-level. Compiling financial, renewable energy resource potentials, and market and policy information in an easily-accessed online format, the report is intended to be an executive summary for all who are interested in the highlights of the renewable energy sector in the states. Investment information in this report was provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
ACORE's 2013 Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Southeastern Region can be viewed here.
ACORE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2014 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation.