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US adds 11.7 GW large wind & solar capacity in 2017

Wind turbines in Nebraska. Photo by: EverPower (www.everpower.com).

February 7 (Renewables Now) - Large-scale wind and solar parks with a combined capacity of 11.7 GW went online in the US in 2017, taking a share of nearly 47.7% in new power capacity across the country last year.

Wind additions in 2017 were down by 14.5% year-on-year to 6.88 GW, and solar additions fell by 47.7% to 4.85 GW, shows the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's  (FERC) latest Energy Infrastructure Update. Meanwhile, the capacity of new natural gas-fired power plants coming on stream in the year reached 11.98 GW, up by 29% on 2016.

FERC also presented statistics for capacity additions and retirements by January 2021. These show large-scale wind and solar are to grow by 79.7 GW and 47.07 GW, respectively. The net natural gas power capacity additions are estimated at nearly 82 GW. Some 20.65 GW and 5.59 GW of coal and nuclear power plants are to close in the period.

Details of large-scale capacity additions across the main sources of power in the US for 2017 and for December alone are available in the table.

New capacity in-service (in MW) 2017 2016 Dec 2017 Total at year end
Natural gas 11,980 9,283 842 517,140
Coal 0 45 0 227,490
Nuclear 102 1,290 0 108,180
Water 214 449 0 100,860
Wind 6,881 8,045 913 88,530
Oil 40 67 0 43,530
Solar 4,853 9,282 798 30,300
Biomass 268 110 0 16,680
TOTAL 24,614 28,616 2,590 1,188,590

The full FERC report is available at https://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2017/dec-energy-infrastructure.pdf.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

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

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