As 2022 begins, it’s hard to know what the future will bring.
We may be entering the third full pandemic year, but with an economy in a robust recovery. To help you prepare for and benefit from change, we’re reviewing trends in solar installations, electric vehicles (EV’s), and other energy technologies to anticipate what might go on in 2022. Let’s begin with EV’s.
New Models, New Mainstreaming
Nearly two dozen new EV models are slated for release in 2022. Some are produced by dedicated EV manufacturers that have been on the forefront for years; others are offered by luxury car makers, with high prices to match.
However, most new models are downright mainstream, with many made by mid-range manufacturers and costing less than $45,000. The Ford F150 Lightning will have a sticker price about the same as a conventional F150, but with more horsepower and a 300-mile range. GM will resurrect the gas guzzling Hummer SUV as an EV and offer a new SUV version of the Chevy Bolt, the Bolt EUV. In fact, nearly every big-name car manufacturer will produce an EV SUV or crossover in 2022.
More EV pickups will be available, too. In addition to the Lightning, Lordstown Motors, Tesla, and Rivian will produce the Endurance, Cybertruck, and R1T trucks, respectively.
You’ll receive deliveries from EV’s, too. Amazon will begin deploying some of the 100,000 delivery trucks they’ve ordered from Rivian, and UPS will introduce EV trucks purchased from the UK manufacturer Arrival.
EV Charging Stations Set to Multiply
In our most recent blog, we discussed how the new infrastructure bill will provide funding to build a nationwide network of 500,000 charging stations, and the Build Back Better bill (BBB), if passed, will increase the tax credit for EV purchases to $12,500. Here are some other data points about the growing market:
- According to a study by Market Research Future, the charging station market will grow from $18.25 billion today to more than $155 billion by 2030.
- GM is working to grow the EVgo charging station network to 2,700 by 2025 and has already placed 500 chargers. GM drivers will also be able to use a single app to locate 80,000 charging locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, be able to find charging stations along a planned route and initiate and pay for charging.
- Chevrolet will cover standard installation of home charging outlets for most customers who purchase or lease a 2022 Bolt EUV or Bolt EV.
Each of these moves makes it easier for consumers in your target market to make the decision to buy their own EV’s.
Solar Outlook Mixed, but Positive
Bringing more solar capacity online is a top goal for utilities and regulators as 29 gigawatts of coal plant capacity shuts down by 2025. The good news? Analysts predict 44 gigawatts of new solar will come online in 2022. Better news? That 44 GW is all utility-owned projects and doesn’t account for small-scale installations at homes and businesses.
How many small-scale projects are installed in the near term will partly depend on the final form of the BBB legislation and whether it passes at all. Among the proposals is an extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for private solar. It received a partial extension in 2020 but is still set to sunset by 2024. As it currently stands, BBB would return the ITC to 30% of the project cost and roll back the sunset date.
Other Power Technologies
Analysts expect wind capacity to increase by 27 GW in 2022, and for power storage to be increased by 8 GW. Storage capacity is crucial to transitioning to wind and solar because night, clouds, and windless conditions prevent 24/7 power generation.
Though it’s not technically a “renewable” (after all, there’s a finite amount of uranium), nuclear power is a zero-emission technology, and Northern Illinois has received positive news about the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants. Though Exelon had planned to decommission the plants, a deal with the Illinois government will keep them open. This should keep Illinois rates relatively low and make savings from installing solar even more lucrative. For more information on upcoming trends and energy efficiencies contact Thayer Energy Solutions to see which direction could benefit you in 2022.