Renewable Energy Outlook for 2012 and Beyond

Jennifer Runyon, Managing Editor for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, just published an interesting story on the financial outlook for renewable energy for 2012 in the US.

For the past two years, the 1603 Grant in Lieu of Tax Credit has offered qualified renewable energy developers a financial advantage. It is set to expire at the end of this month. And the market isn’t exactly overflowing with extra financial options.  

There are those who think letting the grant expire will result in significant loss of renewable energy jobs in 2012. Others believe it provides an opportunity for good deals from companies involved in renewable energy projects but needing help completing the effort. 

Ed Feo of USRG Renewable Group, said, “This is not a happy time for renewables on the political side.” The extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy projects is scheduled to sunset on Dec. 31, 2012, and it is not clear if an extension will be politically supported.

Solar may be the overall winner in the coming years if there is no extension for wind project tax credits, because solar projects are a part of the PTC until the end of 2016.

We are seeing an increase in availability of  low-cost Chinese panels costing less than a dollar per watt. This could bring some newer lower-priced solar projects into high solar markets. That said, renewable energy financiers agree that 2012 could be a tough year for the renewables industry, with consolidation expected.

I think the desire and demand is already there. If the political climate supports renewable energy, the work will be there too.