Large scale solar plants will bring more new capacity online this year than any other electricity source. Wind and solar make up a small share of U.S. electricity production today, but they’re poised to supply 70 percent of new power plant capacity built this year. That’s not according to pro-solar activists or industry trade groups. It’s the calculation of the federal government. Solar will deliver the most new capacity, with 39 percent, according to the latest tally by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Wind follows close behind with 31 percent. The long-awaited Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia could finally wrap up one of its reactors this year, contributing another 3 percent. And battery storage will grow to 11 percent of new capacity, with a carbon impact determined by the cleanliness of the electricity that charges them. Natural gas, the dominant fuel source for U.S. electricity, is only expected to account for 16 percent of new power plant capacity. Almost all of those gas generators are popping up in Texas, Ohio or Pennsylvania, the EIA noted. This tabulation spans competitive markets and states where monopoly utilities call the shots. Notably, it only counts utility-scale projects, so solar and batteries at […]


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