Technology drives our society’s evolution.
In our industry, these developments are enabling the shift from carbon-emitting power plants to clean, renewable generators.
The companies that thrive during these transitions are those that capitalize on technological innovation; Apex is one such example. Since our founding in 2009, Apex’s strategy has remained constant: control the resource and execute at scale. In the early days, our sole focus was on wind energy. Over the years, Apex applied that same strategy to newly efficient and cost-competitive technologies, and what was once a scrappy wind start-up, as we like to say, has grown into a team of more than 400 professionals advancing wind, solar, battery storage, distributed generation, and green fuels projects—with more on the horizon.
Technology has enabled Apex’s growth, and likewise, it will facilitate the success of the energy transition.
Meeting the Challenge
Two years ago, the Biden administration announced its target of decarbonizing the power grid by 2035, a move that sets the United States on a path aligned with the Paris Agreement. This goal is only made more ambitious by the fact that global power consumption is expected to triple by 2050 with mass electrification, data center expansion, and higher living standards.
By 2030, the United States will need annual growth rates of 43 to 90 gigawatts for solar and 70 to 145 gigawatts for wind—more than quadruple the current rate.
These trends are both encouraging and intimidating: the pace of our decarbonization is increasing and will benefit every corner of our society—but the task ahead of us becomes more challenging.
Decarbonizing our power grid by 2035 will necessitate a swift acceleration of clean energy deployment—requiring an estimated two terawatts of wind and solar power. By 2030, the United States will need annual growth rates of 43 to 90 gigawatts for solar and 70 to 145 gigawatts for wind—more than quadruple the current rate. To be sure, barriers to achieving that scale remain—transmission congestion, permitting reform—but Apex’s team of experts is working every day with our industry partners to overcome those obstacles.
And based on recent history, there’s reason for optimism. With efficiencies in wind turbines, solar panels, and battery technology, the price of renewable energy has marched steadily downward, pushing aging coal plants into retirement and shrinking the nation’s emissions. U.S. carbon emissions in 2021 decreased 17.7% from 2005 levels; carbon emissions from the electric sector specifically fell 35%. Technological innovation will continue to spur momentum in clean energy over the next decade.
Already, the projects Apex has commercialized or brought online—totaling nearly eight gigawatts—make up 3.5% of the nation’s operational clean power capacity. In the coming years, our team will do the same for gigawatts of clean energy on an annual basis, a dramatic acceleration of our contribution to the transition—and one that will span new technologies, advancing decarbonization beyond even our electric grid and into the most difficult-to-abate sectors. With marketplace innovation already driving the energy transition and supportive policy in our sights, Apex, alongside our industry, is poised to face the challenge.