Electric power generated from renewable energy sources in the U.S. will rise to nearly 23% in 2022, according to short-term guidance released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Renewables – including wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy – became the second-most prevalent U.S. electricity source in ­­2020, trailing only natural gas. New additions of solar and wind generating capacity in 2021 were offset by reduced generation from hydropower in 2020, according to EIA, keeping the renewable share of electricity generation flat from 2020 to 2021. To learn more, read, “EIA: Renewables will make up 23% of U.S. electric power generation next year.”

Key Takeaways:

Findings from EIA’s August short-term outlook:

  • Estimate +14.7 GW of new wind capacity in 2020, +17.6 GW in 2021, and +6.3 GW in 2022
  • Estimate +10.6 GW utility-scale solar in 2020, +16.2 GW in 2021, and +16.6 GW in 2022
  • Estimate +10 GW small-scale solar capacity from 2021-2022
  • Expect significant solar capacity increases in Texas

Path to 100% Perspective:  Electric utilities and governments across the world are moving towards 100% carbon-free energy. To succeed, they need to not only increase renewable generation, but also to rapidly reduce the use of fossil fuels. Renewables and storage alone cannot rapidly decarbonize our power system fast enough. Optimizing power resources, renewable energy and future fuels is the way to pave the Path to 100%.  Electricity generation in the United States was responsible for approximately 30% of CO2 generation in 2017. As other industrial sectors decarbonize they will become more reliant on utility infrastructure to supply carbon-free or carbon-neutral energy, in effect increasing utility load.


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