Solar and wind to dominate new electric capacity additions, according to EIA’s 2019 Outlook

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects 23.7 GW of new electric capacity additions and 8.3 GW of electric capacity retirements in 2019


According to EIA’s latest inventory of electric generators, 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity additions and 8.3 GW of capacity retirements are expected for the U.S. electric power sector in 2019.

The utility-scale capacity additions by sector consist primarily of wind (46 percent), natural gas (34 percent), and solar photovoltaics (18 percent), with the remaining 2 percent consisting primarily of other renewables and battery storage capacity.

Solar capacity generation is expected to top 4.3 GWac of utility-scale solar and 3.9 GWac of distributed solar.

Nearly half of the 4.3 GW of utility-scale solar capacity additions will be located in three states: Texas, California, and North Carolina.

Scheduled capacity retirements for 2019 primarily consist of coal (53 percent), natural gas (27 percent), and nuclear (18 percent), with a single hydroelectric plant in the state of Washington and other smaller renewable and petroleum capacity accounting for the remaining 2 percent.

The utility-scale values in this article refer to capacity reported to EIA by developers and power plant owners—respondents to EIA’s annual and monthly electric generator surveys.

In its the annual survey, respondents are asked to provide planned online dates for any known generators coming online in the next 5 years (or 10 years for coal and nuclear units).

The monthly survey tracks the status of generators coming online in the coming year. Based on previous analysis of reported online dates, these values tend to be accurate within the coming 12 months.

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