April 02, 2024

Record-breaking investments reported in sustainable energy

Submitted by sempra_hoa on
2023 brought $303.3 billion deployments in cleaner energy, climate resilience and infrastructure modernization

The U.S. broke its record for energy transition financing in 2023 with $303.3 billion deployed for cleaner energy technologies, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) recently estimated in its 12th edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. Published by BloombergNEF (BNEF), the report notes the progress is due to increased investments from the private industry and government — including projects bolstered by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Allison Hull, Sempra’s federal director of government affairs and BCSE’s chair of the board of directors, speaks at the BCSE Factbook launch

Sempra, a founding member of the BCSE, was onsite for the Factbook’s launch in Washington, D.C. Allison Hull, Sempra’s federal director of government affairs and BCSE’s chair of the board of directors, spoke on the importance of improving the resilience of the country’s energy networks to better withstand extreme weather events.

“Reflecting on the data from within the Factbook, it is clear the urgency for climate action and energy transformation has never been greater,” Hull said. “Last year brought 28 climate disasters. Sempra companies include some of the most ambitious, innovative and reliable utilities in the U.S. with each deploying capital to help our energy systems be more resilient.”

Photo: Allison Hull, Sempra’s federal director of government affairs and BCSE’s chair of the board of directors, speaks at the BCSE Factbook launch in 2024

2023 clean energy transition growth

In 2023, the U.S. solidified its position as a global leader in the move to cleaner energy sources with a staggering 22% year-on-year increase in investments, totaling approximately $303 billion. Other key takeaways from the report include:

  • The country added a record 42GW of new renewable power-generating capacity to the grid. The renewables contributed 972TWh or 23% of total power generation in U.S. in 2023.
  • The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell vehicles set a record in 2023 with sales rising to a record 1.46 million — up 50% compared to the previous year.
  • U.S. developers announced hydrogen pipeline projects with projected hydrogen capacity of up to 10.4 million metric tons per year. The Biden Administration’s regional hydrogen hubs could add up to 3 million metric tons per year.
  • Renewable natural gas (RNG) production grew by 13% year-on-year in 2023 with 17 natural gas utility companies having received regulatory approval to sell RNG to customers using a special tariff mechanism as of 2023.

With experts estimating that global energy consumption will increase by approximately 1.8% in 2024, energy delivery companies and government leaders will need to continue to collaborate on efforts to expand and modernize energy infrastructure while maintaining safe and reliable energy for consumers.

Sempra’s capital plan

The release of the Factbook coincided with Sempra’s full year 2023 earnings report where the company announced a 20% increase to its capital plan1. The company record capital plan — which stood at $48 billion as of Feb. 27, 20242 — comes as company leaders anticipate another strong year of growth. The capital plan focuses on investments in safety, reliability and connecting customers to cleaner energy. Over 90% of these planned investments are focused at Sempra’s energy delivery companies in California and Texas.

In 2023, $4.6 billion was invested in capital projects by Sempra California, including in the installation of 200 megawatts of new utility-owned battery storage and microgrids to help enhance grid reliability and strengthen community resilience in the San Diego region. The microgrids will provide a combined storage capacity of approximately 39 megawatts/180 megawatt-hours across four substations. Microgrids aim to enhance resilience against climate impacts by supplying clean energy during high demand and emergencies, supporting critical facilities such as schools and fire stations. The microgrids represent a notable portion of the 48 microgrids completed in the U.S.

Find out more about Sempra’s operating companies’ rich history in building transmission infrastructure geared toward safety, reliability and resilience.

Refers to the increase from Sempra’s 2023 — 2027 capital plan to its 2024 — 2028 capital plan.

Refers to Sempra’s 2024 — 2028 capital plan which includes Sempra’s proportionate ownership interest in projected capital expenditures at unconsolidated entities while excluding Sempra’s projected capital contributions to those entities, and excludes noncontrolling interest’s proportionate ownership interest in projected capital expenditures at Sempra and at unconsolidated entities.

This article contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions about the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this article. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

In this article, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “contemplate,” “plan,” “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” “envision,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “will,” “confident,” “may,” “can,” “potential,” “possible,” “proposed,” “in process,” “construct,” “develop,” “opportunity,” “preliminary,” “initiative,” “target,” “outlook,” “optimistic,” “poised,” “maintain,” “continue,” “progress,” “advance,” “goal,” “aim,” “commit,” or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations.

Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include: California wildfires, including potential liability for damages regardless of fault and any inability to recover all or a substantial portion of costs from insurance, the wildfire fund established by California Assembly Bill 1054, rates from customers or a combination thereof; decisions, investigations, inquiries, regulations, denials or revocations of permits, consents, approvals or other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions, including the failure to honor contracts and commitments, by the (i) California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Comisión Reguladora de Energía, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Utility Commission of Texas, U.S. Internal Revenue Service and other regulatory bodies and (ii) U.S., Mexico and states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions therein and in other countries where we do business; the success of business development efforts, construction projects, acquisitions, divestitures, and other significant transactions, including risks related to (i) being able to make a final investment decision, (ii) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (iii) realizing anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, (iv) obtaining third-party consents and approvals, and (v) third parties honoring their contracts and commitments; macroeconomic trends or other factors that could change our capital expenditure plans and their potential impact on rate base or other growth; litigation, arbitrations, property disputes and other proceedings, and changes to laws and regulations, including those related to tax and trade policy and the energy industry in Mexico; cybersecurity threats, including by state and state-sponsored actors, of ransomware or other attacks on our systems or the systems of third parties with which we conduct business, including the energy grid or other energy infrastructure; the availability, uses, sufficiency, and cost of capital resources and our ability to borrow money or otherwise raise capital on favorable terms and meet our obligations, including due to (i) actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or place those ratings on negative outlook, (ii) instability in the capital markets, or (iii) rising interest rates and inflation; the impact on affordability of San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) customer rates and their cost of capital and on SDG&E’s, SoCalGas’ and Sempra Infrastructure’s ability to pass through higher costs to customers due to (i) volatility in inflation, interest rates and commodity prices, (ii) with respect to SDG&E’s and SoCalGas’ businesses, the cost of meeting the demand for lower carbon and reliable energy in California, and (iii) with respect to Sempra Infrastructure’s business, volatility in foreign currency exchange rates; the impact of climate and sustainability policies, laws, rules, regulations, disclosures and trends, including actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for California natural gas distribution companies, the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets, and uncertainty related to relevant emerging and early-stage technologies; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, terrorism, information system outages or other events, such as work stoppages, that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities or systems, cause the release of harmful materials or fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or insurance or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of electric power, natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, pipeline system or limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC’s (Oncor) ability to reduce or eliminate its quarterly dividends due to regulatory and governance requirements and commitments, including by actions of Oncor’s independent directors or a minority member director; and other uncertainties, some of which are difficult to predict and beyond our control.

These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC’s website, sec.gov, and on Sempra’s website. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.

Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, SDG&E or SoCalGas, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.