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Solar, wind farms bring 72% of new US power capacity in 2-mo 2019

Solar system. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

April 11 (Renewables Now) - Almost 72% of all new large-scale power generation capacity in the US in the first two months of 2019 was either wind or solar, while natural gas-fired plants accounted for 28%.

The US put online 1.9 GW of new capacity in January and February, according to an update by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This included 949 MW of large solar parks, flat year-on-year, and 424 MW of wind farms, down by 73% year-on-year.

The table below shows the current capacity of the main energy sources in the US and proposed additions and retirements by March 2022. "High probability additions" is a new feature of the FERC monthly report, which previously contained only total proposed additions. All is given in gigawatts.

Source Installed capacity All additions by March 2022 High probability additions by March 2022 Retirements by March 2022
Natural gas 528.1 70.7 32.4 8.9
Coal 262.5 0.017 0.017 16.4
Nuclear 108 11.5 4.8 9
Water 100.33 15.06 1 0.54
Wind 97.54 100.5 24.6 0
Solar 37.85 79.7 12 0

Coal remains the US’ number-two power source in terms of capacity. As is visible from the table, coal power will keep decreasing, rather than increasing, in the coming years, a trend observed globally. Still, the US Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday said several projects for advanced coal technologies and research will be receiving up to USD 87.3 million (EUR 77.5m) in federal funds. Five separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) aim to improve steam turbine performance; reduce uncertainty and enable real-time decision making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage; develop innovative technologies that will enhance the performance and economics of existing and new coal plants; reduce the cost and enhance the cyclic durability of materials used in advanced ultra-supercritical power plants; and support cooperative agreements to advance the development of technologies for the recovery of rare earth elements (REE) and critical materials (CM) from domestic coal-based resources.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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