Federal forecast: Wind, solar fastest growing power sources through 2021
by James Osborne
January 22, 2019
WASHINGTON – Wind and solar energy projects will be the fastest growing source of new generation on the U.S. power grid for the next two years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is forecasting in a new report.
Solar generation is projected to grow by 10 percent in 2019 and 17 percent in 2020, while wind would grow 12 percent and 14 percent over the same years.
“This projected growth is a result of new generating capacity the industry expects to bring online,” the report read. “About 11 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity is scheduled to come online in 2019, which would be the largest amount of new wind capacity installed in the United States since 2012.”
Utility-scale solar capacity is expected to increase 4 gigawatts this year and 6 gigawatts next year, while small scale solar capacity on homes and businesses would add 9 gigawatts over the next two years – a 44 percent increase.
The increases are projected to cut into coal-fired generation, which is expected to fall to 24 percent by 2020 – compared to 45 percent in 2010.
“Natural gas fueled 35% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2018, up from 24% in 2010,” the report read. “EIA forecasts the natural gas generation share will grow to 37% by 2020 and coal will continue declining.”