- Wind, natural gas and solar made up the main sources of new United States electrical generation in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
- Wind energy lead the way with 41%, with natural gas and solar following at 30% and 26% respectively, a major shift from 2014 when natural gas was 44% of new electrical generation, solar 27% and wind 26%.
- The dominant role of wind, natural gas, and solar in supplying new generation capacity is expected to continue in 2016 because of continued low natural gas prices, the five-year extensions for wind and solar federal tax credits, and continuing economic and regulatory pressure to close coal plants.
Wind, solar and natural gas continue to dominant the current energy landscape as they composed most of the new electrical generation from last year, the latest EIA report said.
About 468 MW of new wind and 145 MW of new solar made 100% of new U.S. electricity generation capacity in January, according to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). There was no new nuclear, coal, natural gas, or oil generation capacity.
Renewables now provide 17.93% of U.S. installed electricity generation capacity with hydropower leading at 8.56%, followed by wind at 6.37%, biomass at 1.43%, solar at 1.24%, and geothermal at 0.33%. Non-hydro installed renewable capacity, at 9.37%, beats nuclear’s 9.15% and oil’s 3.84%.
Numbers from EIA show renewables generation growth are higher than the agency’s 2015 forecast. Instead of a 1.8% drop last year, renewables grew by 2.03% to 13.44% of U.S. electrical generation
U.S. electricity providers are expected to increase installed utility-scale generating capacity by 26 GW in 2016, with 93% coming from 9.5 GW of solar generation, 8.0 GW of natural gas power plants, and 6.8 GW of wind installations.