Renewable Energy News 2023

renewable energy news 2023

Renewable energy saw impressive growth globally in 2022. Solar and wind power dominated new renewable energy capacity installed, while emerging technologies like green hydrogen and energy storage also gained ground. Some key trends included:

  • Total renewable power capacity worldwide increased by over 10% in 2022.
  • Solar power represented over 60% of new renewable energy capacity added, led by Asia and the US.
  • Onshore wind power saw the second largest growth after solar, accounting for about 20% of new renewable capacity.
  • The costs of solar and wind power fell dramatically in 2022, becoming increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
  • Many governments took action to accelerate the transition to renewable energy through policy support and investment.

Overall, renewables gained market share as a sustainable energy solution in 2022 while technology advancements brought down costs. The growth highlights the key role renewables will play in the global energy transition going forward.

Solar Energy

The solar energy industry is expected to see strong growth in 2023, with new solar installations reaching record levels according to industry reports. One major trend is the continued decline in costs, with the average price of solar panels dropping by over 10% from 2022 to 2023 (Catalyze). This makes solar power increasingly cost competitive with fossil fuels.

Efficiency of solar panels is also improving, with the most advanced panels on the market today able to convert over 20% of sunlight into electricity. Researchers are exploring new materials and manufacturing techniques to push efficiency even higher (Solaris Tech). Higher efficiency panels can generate more electricity from the same surface area, reducing solar system sizes and installation costs.

The growth in the solar market is being driven in part by strong consumer demand, with homes, businesses and utilities all installing more solar year after year. Government incentives like tax credits also continue to make solar power financially appealing. With costs falling and efficiency rising, solar is positioned to be an increasingly significant source of renewable energy into the future.

Wind Energy

Wind energy continued to expand in 2023, with growth occurring both onshore and offshore. According to Axios, the wind energy market share in the U.S. is expected to remain flat at 11%-12% through 2024.

Several major offshore wind projects made progress in 2023 after years of planning and development. These include Vineyard Wind off the coast of Massachusetts, the South Fork Wind Farm off Long Island, New York, and the Ocean Wind project off New Jersey (Axios). Many more offshore wind farms are in earlier stages of development.

Onshore, new wind farms continued coming online, such as the Traverse Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma. However, permitting and siting challenges have slowed growth for some onshore projects (JLER).

Turbine innovations also progressed in 2023. GE recently announced plans for a massive new offshore turbine with blades longer than a football field. Other companies like Vestas and Siemens Gamesa work on improving turbine efficiency and capacity.


Hydropower is expected to see continued growth globally in 2023, albeit at a slower pace than previous years according to the 2023 World Hydropower Outlook. While overall generation may decline slightly, new projects are still coming online. China remains the leader in new hydropower development and plans to add another 20 GW of capacity in 2023.

Pumped storage hydropower is also garnering more interest as a way to store and deploy renewable energy. For example, the Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Project received permits for construction in Montana starting in 2023. This 400 MW project will help integrate more solar and wind onto the grid by storing excess generation and discharging when needed.

However, hydropower growth faces environmental challenges. Projects often disrupt river ecosystems and can require resettling populations. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has faced criticism over impacts to water flows on the Nile River. Still, proponents argue hydropower emits far less greenhouse gases than fossil fuel alternatives. Overall, the hydropower outlook for 2023 remains cautiously optimistic.


The geothermal energy industry saw exciting developments in 2023. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s 2023 Annual Technology Baseline (ATB) report, significant cost reductions have made enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) more economically viable EGS involves drilling deep wells and injecting fluid to fracture hot dry rocks and circulate water through the system to produce steam. As EGS technology improves, geothermal could become cost-competitive with natural gas and coal.

Several new geothermal plants came online in 2023, adding over 500 megawatts of capacity according to Baseload Capital. The company expects several more large projects to begin construction in 2024 as geothermal venture capital investments continue rising With increased funding for technical developments and DOE support, the future looks bright for geothermal energy in the US.


Bioenergy continues to play an important role in the renewable energy landscape. According to the IEA’s 2023 Bioenergy report, bioenergy accounted for around 10% of total primary energy supply in 2021. There are opportunities for advanced biofuels, more efficient biomass power plants, and overall sustainability improvements in the bioenergy sector.

Advanced biofuels, produced from non-food biomass feedstocks and residues, offer benefits over conventional biofuels. These advanced biofuels have much lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels. There is potential to scale up advanced biofuels to help decarbonize sectors like aviation, shipping, and heavy-duty transport that are difficult to electrify.

Biomass power plants are also an important renewable electricity source in many countries. There are opportunities to improve the efficiency and reduce the costs of biomass power generation through technology innovations. Co-firing biomass with coal and converting existing coal plants to use biomass are strategies for transitioning to cleaner power sources.

It’s critical that increased bioenergy utilization is done sustainably, protecting land, water resources, biodiversity and food supplies. Robust sustainability certification frameworks have been developed to ensure bioenergy projects meet environmental and social standards. Overall, bioenergy is poised for continued moderate growth as part of a diverse renewable energy mix.

Energy Storage

Energy storage is emerging as a critical component of the renewable energy transition. In 2022, global deployments of battery storage systems grew 54% year-over-year to nearly 14 gigawatt-hours (GWh), and are forecast to exceed 1,500 GWh by 2030 according to Statista ( Lithium-ion batteries still dominate the market, but pumped hydro and thermal storage represent the vast majority of total global storage capacity.

Pumped hydro storage works by pumping water uphill into a reservoir when electricity prices are low, then releasing it through hydroelectric turbines when prices are high. The U.S. Department of Energy reported over 50 gigawatts (GW) of new pumped hydro storage proposed or under development as of early 2023. Countries like Australia are also investing heavily in pumped hydro to balance variable renewable generation.

Thermal energy storage includes technologies like molten salt storage that can retain heat for extended periods. Researchers at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab recently achieved a thermal storage efficiency record of 97.7%. Thermal storage provides an alternative to batteries for generating electricity when the sun isn’t shining.

Additional storage innovations in 2023 include compressed air storage, gravity storage using cranes or weights, and flow batteries. The diversity of approaches reflects storage’s vital role in enabling very high renewable energy penetrations this decade and beyond.

Policy and Regulations

Many states have announced aggressive renewable energy targets for 2023. For example, Rajasthan aims to fulfill 90% of its energy needs through renewables by 2030 according to its forward-thinking Renewable Energy Policy 2023. Similarly, Gujarat’s Renewable Energy Policy 2023 sets a goal of meeting 50% of its energy demand from renewables.

To accelerate renewable energy deployment, states are offering subsidies and incentives. For example, in Rajasthan solar projects are eligible for exemptions on stamp duty, electricity duty, land tax, and more. Streamlined permitting processes are also being implemented, like Gujarat’s single window clearance system for renewable projects.

The central government has extended key incentives like accelerated depreciation and tax holidays for renewable energy projects. New schemes providing concessional financing for renewables through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency have also been introduced.

Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement

There has been significant growth in corporate renewable energy procurement in recent years as companies aim to meet sustainability targets and reduce energy costs. Major deals in 2023 so far include Amazon securing 465 MW of solar power from 7 new projects and Meta signing contracts to purchase 250 MW of wind and solar power from D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments projects.

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) have remained a preferred model for corporations to buy renewable energy directly from projects. According to BloombergNEF, corporates signed 29 clean energy PPAs totaling 5.4 GW globally in 2022. While the total capacity dropped from 2021, average PPA sizes increased as corporations signed larger deals.

Onsite renewable energy installations also continue to increase, providing corporations the opportunity to generate their own clean power. As per, major companies like Apple, Amazon, and Target installed hundreds of megawatts of solar in 2022 to power their operations facilities.


Renewable energy saw major growth and innovation in 2023. Key developments included advancements in solar and wind technologies, growth in corporate renewable energy procurement, and expansions in energy storage. While cost reductions have made renewables more competitive, continued policy support will be needed to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

Looking ahead, the outlook for renewable energy is positive for 2024 and beyond. Growing demand from corporations, cities and states seeking to meet climate goals will drive further growth in solar, wind and other renewables. Emerging renewable technologies like offshore wind, green hydrogen and geothermal are reaching commercial scale and will play a bigger role. Battery storage deployments are set to surge, enabling higher renewable energy penetration. The shift towards decarbonization and energy security will continue to transform power systems worldwide.

Overall, renewables have solid momentum and are on track to supply an increasing share of global energy needs. But continued innovation, policy support and cross-sector collaboration will be essential to fully transition to a carbon-free energy future.

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