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Half Of Utility-scale Capacity Installed In USA Came From Renewables


After increasing by 13% in 2017, US Energy Information Administration, EIA expects total generation from renewables in all sectors (including utility- and small-scale generators) to decrease by 3% in 2018 and then to increase by 7% in 2019. Forecast electricity generation from hydropower decreases by 12% in 2018 and increases by 2% in 2019. This change in hydropower generation drives the decrease in overall renewable generation growth in 2018. Generation from renewable energy other than hydropower in the electric power sector is forecast to grow by 3% in 2018 and by 9% in 2019.

EIA estimates that total U.S. small-scale solar capacity was 16 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2017. EIA expects that capacity to be 19 GW at the end of 2018 and 23 GW at the end of 2019.

EIA estimates that U.S. large-scale solar capacity totaled 27 GW at the end of 2017 and forecasts by the end of 2018 that capacity will rise to 30 GW. States leading in large-scale solar capacity additions are California, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. Forecast large-scale solar generation averages 1.5% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2018. By the end of 2019, large-scale solar capacity is forecast to be 42 GW. In 2019 the average generation share is about 1.7% of total generation.

EIA estimates that U.S. large-scale wind capacity totaled 88 GW at the end of 2017, and by the end of 2018 that capacity is expected to rise to 96 GW. Forecast wind generation accounts for 6.4% of total generation in 2018. Wind capacity rises to 104 GW in 2019, and its generation share is 6.9%. If the forecast levels of both wind and hydro generation are met in 2019, it would be the first time that wind generation surpasses hydropower as the leading source of renewable electricity generation.

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