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Renewables, Natural Gas To Lead New U.S. Electric Capacity  

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.

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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.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • eduardo on January 12 2019 said:
    An industrial nation powered by natural gas, wind, and solar cannot compete with a nation powered by coal. Polish industry has a great future.
  • onlymho on January 12 2019 said:
    each GW of solar and wind requires a matching fossil fuel based GW on standby to supply energy when the sun does not shine or the wind speed is below 7mph? (it seems that NG should be the highest production added because of supply requirements when solar and wind is not available)
  • Kay Uwe Böhm on January 11 2019 said:
    No energy import possible only with new cheap solar thermal solution using glas geen houses cooled but delivering energy not using water condensed out with centrifugal compressor there hot & dense with set free condensation heat cooled with CO2 for turbines there at end 2. CF compressor cooling all with decoupled backflow thermal isolated so only electricity out usable for all steam power plants added same new plant for free and used also for CNG production out of water electrolyse H2 + cheap air CO2 exotherm reaction heat always like steamed water reused etc.

    originator kayuweboehm@yahoo.de

    Where not all year hot RBN Th pebble bed HTR zero risk and cheap using white diamond coal RBN same cubic boron nitride isotopes B-11 & N-15
    latest lucky lowest neutron absorption for only ThO2 30 year pebble runtime also for endstorage in stainless steel hard up to 2800°C unburnable and insoluble so HTR open secure simply baking ThO2 granulate in BN secured 2. again with new compact HTR with tungsten reflector, automatic double stop 1s and overheat self slow down, all around walls 1.6m steel, earlier melting concrete, tungsten double steel inside Li-7 (binding tritium etc.) cooled separated to turbines.
  • Jim Miceli on January 11 2019 said:
    I'd consider that Wind Power , Solar , Natural Gas together with Oil for petroleum products coupling both Gold and Financials , not Banks , would be better off working in close tolerance with one another.

    There was no valid reason (WTI) fell from the 53.00 + mark. Gold is an apparent indicator that there are signs of stability and trimming the Oil output would circumvent further decline. No company can operate at 50.00 per barrel.

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