Wind and solar power to dominate new US electricity capacity in 2020

The renewable energy sources are forecast to represent almost 76% of new capacity additions

New electricity generation capacity in the US is to primarily come from wind and solar farms this year.

That’s according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report, which expects 42GW of new capacity additions to start commercial operations in 2020.

Solar and wind power are forecast to represent almost 32GW or 76% of these additions.

Wind is expected to account for the largest share of new capacity at 44%, followed by solar at 32% and natural gas at 22%, with the remaining 2% coming from hydroelectric generators and battery storage.

Around 18.5GW of wind capacity is scheduled to come online this year, surpassing the record level of 13.2GW set in 2012.

More than 60% of wind capacity is scheduled to come online towards the end of the year, in November and December 2020, which the EIA says is typical for solar and wind applications.

Around 13.5GW of solar capacity is expected to come online in 2020, surpassing the previous annual record of 8GW of additional capacity in 2016.

More than half of the utility-scale electric power sector solar capacity additions will be in four states: Texas, California, Florida and South Carolina.

Planned natural gas capacity additions for this year are 9.3GW, with combined cycle plants accounting for 6.7GW and combustion-turbine plants accounting for 2.3GW.

The report adds scheduled capacity retirements of around 11GW will primarily be driven by coal this year, followed by natural gas and nuclear power.

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