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Proposed wind, solar in US by 2020 total 116 GW

Wind and solar power plant in the US. Featured Image: welcomia/Shutterstock.com

January 8 (Renewables Now) - A net 115,984 MW of utility-scale wind and solar capacity is proposed to be added in the US by December 2020, matching the 115,520 MW of capacity currently installed.

The data is from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's  (FERC) latest Energy Infrastructure Update last week and suggests that US wind and solar capacity could double in the next three years, non-profit SUN DAY Campaign highlighted in a released on Friday.  

The proposed additions for wind are 72,526 MW, and for solar - 43,528 MW, with proposed retirements of 68 MW and 2 MW, respectively.  

In contrast, the report suggests that coal could see a net reduction of 18,723 MW, and nuclear power a net decline of 2,342 MW.

Details of the proposed additions and retirements by December 2020 are in the table below:

Fuel type Additions (MW) Retirements (MW)
Coal 1,927 20,650
Natural Gas 92,489 10,803
Nuclear 3,243 5,585
Oil 762 571
Water 12,732 706
Wind 72,526 68
Biomass 945  47
Geothermal Steam  1,610 0
Solar 43,528 2
Waste Heat 236 0
Other 680 0
Total 230,678 38,432

Should these figures come true, renewables' share of US installed generating capacity would increase to 26.57% from 19.91% now, the organisation says.

Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign, said that the FERC data should not be interpreted as a forecast but rather as a confirmation of recent trends of "rapid growth by solar, wind, and natural gas accompanied by more modest gains by hydropower, geothermal, and biomass while coal and nuclear power experience sharp declines."

FERC is to consider Energy Secretary Rick Perry's proposal to subsidise coal and nuclear generation on January 10.  

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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