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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Just-published industry data shows that installation of renewable power and battery storage capacity is on a record pace this year.

By the numbers: The American Clean Power Association said 9,915 megawatts of capacity came online in the first half of this year — a 17% increase over the first half of 2020.

  • On a quarterly basis, new solar installations in April-June were 2,226 megawatts of capacity, a 73% jump over the first quarter.
  • Q2 wind capacity installations were 2,824 megawatts, similar to Q1 and above the same period last year.

New battery storage capacity is growing even faster, albeit from a much smaller base, with Q2 installations of 570 megawatts compared to roughly 100 in Q1.

  • The storage amount added this year already comes close to matching 2020's full-year additions.
  • U.S. battery storage is expected to see a lot more growth in the years ahead.
Reproduced from the EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The chart above is from a new Energy Information Administration report on the storage market.

  • It looks at large-scale systems — that is, grid-connected projects with a capacity of more than 1 megawatt.
  • Most of the large-scale systems coming online in the next few years will be co-located with solar installations.
  • Of note: The EIA report is based on surveys of the industry and does not try to model potential policy changes or new incentives.

The intrigue: While renewables are surging, the industry and the White House say new policies are needed to reach President Biden's target of 100% carbon-free power by 2035.

  • The trade group is pushing for an extension of renewable power tax credits, the creation of federal storage and transmission credits and other steps.
  • "This growth and expansion are expected to continue but we need policymakers in Washington to make long term decisions to ensure we can continue to develop these critical projects," CEO Heather Zichal said in a statement.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 4, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

Hope King, author of Closer
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.