Re­new­ables, nat­u­ral gas to lead new U.S. elec­tric ca­pac­ity

Tehran Times - - ENERGY -

Wind, nat­u­ral gas, and so­lar ca­pac­ity will lead the new elec­tric­ity ca­pac­ity in the United States this year, while coal-fired gen­er­a­tion will ac­count for more than half of sched­uled ca­pac­ity re­tire­ments, the EIA said in its lat­est in­ven­tory of elec­tric gen­er­a­tors.

In 2019, the U.S. elec­tric power sec­tor is ex­pected to add

23.7 gi­gawatts (GW) of new ca­pac­ity, while 8.3 GW ca­pac­ity is planned to be re­tired.

New util­ity-scale ca­pac­ity will be led by wind power, which will ac­count for 46 per­cent of the ad­di­tions, fol­lowed by nat­u­ral gas with a 34-per­cent share of new ca­pac­ity, and so­lar pho­to­voltaics, which will make up 18 per­cent of new elec­tric ca­pac­ity, the EIA said. The re­main­ing 2 per­cent of new ad­di­tions will con­sist mainly of other re­new­ables and bat­tery stor­age ca­pac­ity.

In wind power, a to­tal of 10.9 GW of ca­pac­ity is cur­rently planned to start up this year, with Texas, Iowa, and Illi­nois ac­count­ing for more than half of the 2019 planned wind ca­pac­ity ad­di­tions.

New nat­u­ral gas ca­pac­ity will be mostly com­bined-cy­cle plants, which are planned to add 6.1 GW of elec­tric ca­pac­ity, while com­bus­tion-tur­bine plants are sched­uled for 1.4 GW new ca­pac­ity. Most of the nat­u­ral gas-pow­ered elec­tric ca­pac­ity is planned to be­come op­er­a­tional by the mid­dle of the year in or­der to be able to meet high sum­mer de­mand, the EIA said. Sixty per­cent of all new nat­u­ral gas-fired ca­pac­ity will take place in three states—Penn­syl­va­nia, Florida, and Louisiana.

So­lar pho­to­voltaics will add 4.3 GW this year, and nearly half of those ca­pac­ity ad­di­tions will be in Texas, Cal­i­for­nia, and North Carolina.

Among the ca­pac­ity sched­uled for re­tire­ment, coal will lead with 53 per­cent of all planned re­tire­ments, fol­lowed by nat­u­ral gas with 27 per­cent, and nu­clear with 18 per­cent. One hy­dro­elec­tric plant in Washington State and other smaller re­new­able and petroleum ca­pac­ity re­tire­ments will ac­count for the re­main­ing 2 per­cent.

The 4.5 GW of coal-fired elec­tric ca­pac­ity that is planned for re­tire­ment this year is rel­a­tively small com­pared with the es­ti­mated 13.7 GW of coal gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity that re­tired in

2018. Last year saw the sec­ond-high­est amount of coal ca­pac­ity re­tired in a year in the United States, ac­cord­ing to the EIA.

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