US solar to represent bulk of new generation capacity

Jan 19, 2023 04:13 PM ET
  • FERC forecasts utility scale PV additions to virtually reach 73,000 MW between December 2022 and November 2025
US solar to represent bulk of new generation capacity
Image: Unsplash/Antonio Garcia

Solar will certainly make up almost two thirds of "high probability" additions to utility scale power generation capacity in the United States over the following 3 years.

The forecast is based on SUN DAY Campaign's review of data released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

In the current issue of FERC's monthly Energy Infrastructure Update, "high probability" additions by solar in between December 2022 as well as November 2025 will certainly total 72,809 MW.

FERC anticipates no solar capacity retirements during that time.

Such development would virtually double solar's share of total readily available mounted generating capacity, increasing it from 78,880 MW to 151,690 MW (omitting small-scale, distributed solar capacity).

On top of that, FERC expects wind generating capacity to expand by 16,955 MW, with simply 140MW of retirements.

Hydropower is likewise anticipated to enhance by 819MW with 46MW of retirements

While FERC projects 17,260 MW of "high probability" additions by natural gas, that capacity would certainly be practically entirely balanced out by 16,954 MW of retirements.

Similarly, a predicted boost of 2200MW in new nuclear capacity would be entirely negated by 2323MW in retirements.

FERC anticipates no new coal capacity over the next three years however does prepare for 17,385 MW of retirements in addition to a net decrease of 1677MW in oil generating capacity.

In between "high probability" additions as well as retirements among all energy sources, FERC projects a net boost of 71,391 MW in set up US generating capacity.

In effect, new solar would certainly represent the general net increase in the nation's overall capacity while new wind capacity would roughly displace the net declines in fossil fuel and also nuclear capacity, stated SUN Day Campaign.

If FERC's data become fact, by November 2025, solar and also wind will have virtually equal shares of US power generating capacity, of 11.41% and 12.02% respectively.

The combination of all renewables (consisting of hydropower, biomass, and also geothermal) will make up practically one 3rd (32.54%) of US generating capacity, up from 27.19% today.

Meanwhile, natural gas' share will certainly drop from 44.15% to 41.80% while coal will certainly fall from 17.34% to 15.10% and also nuclear from 8.14% to 7.69%. Contributions by oil and also biomass would certainly likewise fall.

Past "high probability" additions, FERC also offers data on "all additions" for every energy source that might remain in the three-year pipe.

Solar controls with 201,637 MW, followed by 67,950 MW for wind, while hydropower represent an additional 12,400 MW.

By comparison, natural gas has just 33,547 MW.

" The combined generating capacity of solar and wind is currently higher than either coal or nuclear power," said SUN DAY Campaign exec director Ken Bossong.

" Furthermore, if the existing trajectory lingers or speeds up, generating capacity by the mix of all renewables must overtake that of natural gas before 2030 and also possibly much sooner.".



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