Most new US energy will come from renewable sources in 2019

Jack Unwin 11 January 2019 (Last Updated January 24th, 2019 17:01)

The majority of America’s new energy capacity additions in 2019 will come from renewable energy sources

Most new US energy will come from renewable sources in 2019
US energy will come from renewable sources in 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Sebastian from the EU

The majority of America’s new energy capacity additions in 2019 will come from renewable energy sources, according to figures published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The agency estimates that 23.7GW will be added to the US electric power sector, with 64% of this coming from wind and solar power, and that 8.3GW of energy will be retired in 2019, with more than half of the scheduled retirements coming from coal.

Of the 23.7GW that will be added, 46% (10.9GW) will come from the wind energy sector, with big projects in Texas, Iowa and Illinois making up more than half of the additions for the year.

A further 18% (4.3GW) will come from major solar power projects in Texas, California and North Carolina. The EIA also estimates that a further 3.9GW of solar power will enter service in the residential and commercial sectors.

The final additions will come from natural gas (34%) and other renewables and battery storage (2%).

4.5GW of coal power is estimated to be retired by the end of the year. This includes the Navajo Generating Centre in Arizona, which will account for 2.3GW of the total when it is expected to close at the end of 2019. The total is smaller than the 13.7GW reduction in 2018, the second highest amount of coal capacity retired in a year. Despite US President Donald Trump championing coal during his election campaign, the decline of US coal production has continued under his administration.

Two nuclear power plants in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are set to be retired in September, at a combined total of 1.5GW (18%), and 2.2GW of natural gas (27%) will cease production this year.