1st 2/3 2021 - Renewables Are 86% of New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity; Solar Capacity Now Exceeds 5% of US Total and Is on Track to Surpass Nuclear Power.
- Oct 4, 2021 11:40 pm GMT
that renewable energy sources
… and that does not include distributed (e.g., rooftop) solar. 
Moreover, FERC data suggest that renewables’ share of generating capacity is on track to increase significantly over the next three years (i.e., by August 2024). “High probability” generation capacity additions for wind, minus anticipated retirements, reflect a projected net increase of 21,708 MW while solar is foreseen growing by 44,052 MW. By comparison, net growth for natural gas will be only 13,186 MW. Thus, wind and solar combined are forecast to provide roughly five times more new net generating capacity than natural gas over the next three years.
Including hydropower, biomass, and geothermal, net new renewable energy capacity additions over the next three years are projected to total 66,581 MW. This is nearly identical to the actual net additions of renewable energy capacity - 65,820 MW - which FERC has reported for the last three years (i.e., since August 2018).
If FERC's latest projections materialize, by August 2024, renewable energy generating capacity should account for almost 30 percent (29.44%) of the nation's total available installed generating capacity.
Moreover, installed utility-scale solar capacity alone is on track to exceed that of nuclear power (106,060 MW vs. 104,620 MW) within that same time frame. In fact, new utility-scale solar capacity forecast to be added over the next three years (44,052 MW) will be more than 20 times greater than the capacity of the two new Vogtle nuclear reactors in Georgia (2,200 MW) that have been under construction since 2013.
"FERC's data confirm that wind and solar are dominating new capacity additions in 2021 and are likely to continue doing so in the future," noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. "Nonetheless, to effectively address climate change, the pace of renewable energy growth needs to increase at an even faster rate."
FERC's 6-page "Energy Infrastructure Update for August 2021" was released on September 30, 2021 and can be found at: https://cms.ferc.gov/media/energy-infrastructure-update-august-2021. For the information cited in this update, see the tables entitled "New Generation In-Service (New Build and Expansion)," "Total Available Installed Generating Capacity," and "Generation Capacity Additions and Retirements." FERC notes that its data are derived from Velocity Suite, ABB Inc. and The C Three Group LLC. and adds the caveat that "the data may be subject to update."
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