As more than 7 GW of coal and nuclear power generating capacity in the US are set to retire in 2020, 32 GW of wind and solar power will replace them in the same year, according to data shared by the EIA. (US Energy Information Administration)
- The EIA expects 42 GW of new power generating capacity to come online in 2020 in the US
- Of this, it sees 32 GW of wind and solar power installations claiming 76% of all capacity in its inventory
- Solar will add 13.48 GW of new capacity in 2020 and will claim 32% market share
- There is another 5.1 GW of distributed solar PV generation that the EIA expects to come online by the end of the year
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In 2020, the US power sector is expected to install 32 GW of new solar and wind power plants, representing 76% of 42 GW of all new capacity that the Energy Information Administration of the US government says will come online this year, basis on its latest inventory of electric generators.
The largest share will come from wind power, which will account for 44% of new additions with 18.46 GW capacity registered, followed by utility scale solar expected to install 13.48 GW in 2020 claiming 32% market share. Natural gas will add 9.31 GW or 22% and the remaining 2% or 730 MW will come from hydroelectric generators and battery storage.
For solar, it will be another record year after it recorded 8 GW of annual additions in 2016. More than half of utility scale capacity will be commissioned in the four states of Texas, California, Florida and South Carolina. The EIA expects another 5.1 GW of small scale PV to come online by the end of 2020, which Greentech Media says would ‘break annual records for rooftop PV’ in the country.
Swelling size of the wind power market is attributed to the extension of Production Tax Credit (PTC) that’s got another year, while solar lost its fight to secure any extension. But Wood Mackenzie analysts believe solar will continue to grow backed by its increased competitiveness price wise (see US Solar Industry Loses Fight For 30% ITC Extension).
On the other hand, the EIA sees 5.8 GW of coal-fired capacity to retire during the year with half of it located in Kentucky and Ohio. Another 1.6 GW of nuclear power capacity will stop functioning in the form of two plants in New York and Iowa.