After analyzing the most recent data from two of America’s largest electricity markets — ERCOT in Texas and PJM in the Northeast — the Rocky Mountain Institute has come to a startling conclusion. Renewables are muscling in on natural gas as the preferred choice for new electricity generation. In fact, according to RMI, what happened to coal is now happening to gas. What is needed, the organization argues, is a move away from the monopoly markets that have been the norm in the utility industry for more than 100 years and toward more open competition. Because when renewables compete head to head with thermal generation, they win hands down 95% of the time. “Monthly capacity in ERCOT queue by resource type.” Credit: Rocky Mountain Institute. The data doesn’t lie. RMI looked at the interconnection queues for both ERCOT and PJM and found over the past two years there has been a dramatic shift away from building new gas fired generating plants and toward more renewable energy projects. Interconnection queues track new generation projects proposed to be added to regional grid. That information provides a leading indicator of market trends for new power plants. Not all projects in these queues […]

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