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Wind, solar account for just 30% of US' 10-mo capacity additions

Solar panels in USA. Author: Pete Jelliffe. License: Creative Commons. Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

December 13 (Renewables Now) - About 6.4 GW of wind and solar power plants became operational in the US in the first 10 months of the year, during which the country also put online 14.7 GW of gas-fired power capacity.

Wind capacity additions have fallen to 3.09 GW in January-October 2018 from 5.02 GW in the same period of 2017. The year-on-year decline for solar power is less significant to 3.34 GW from 3.88 GW. This is according to the latest report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

In October alone, 507 MW of wind, 379 MW of solar and 2.56 GW of natural gas-fired power plants came into service. The biggest renewable energy projects that reached completion are three assets in Texas -- the 201-MW Stella and the 201-MW Wilson Ranch wind parks, and the 182-MW Midway Solar project.

The table below contains details on new and cumulative capacity for the country’s main energy sources.

Capacity in MW Oct 2018 10-mo 2018 10-mo 2017 Cumulative
Natural gas 2,558 14,734 11,338 525,270
Solar 379 3,340 3,876 34,940
Wind 507 3,090 5,021 92,010
Nuclear 0 30 102 107,810
Coal 0 10 0 268,060

FERC’s monthly reports also contain details of proposed generation additions and retirements by 2021. Up to November of that year, total wind power capacity additions, at 89.73 GW, are expected to surpass these of gas, at 72.61 GW. Solar power comes third with 63.68 GW of new capacity expected. At the same time, during that period 19.26 GW of coal and 11.95 GW of natural gas-fired power plants will be retired.

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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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