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EIA expects 32 GW of new wind and solar capacities in the US in 2020

15 Jan 2020

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects 42 GW of new power capacity to be installed and commissioned in 2020. Most of the new capacities would be renewable (76% of the total, i.e. nearly 32 GW), of which 18.5 GW would come from wind (44%) and 13.5 GW (32%) from solar. The remainder would consist of gas-fired power capacities (9.3 GW, i.e. 22%) and from other energy sources (hydropower and battery storage, 730 MW, 2%).

Wind capacity additions are expected to soar in 2020, exceeding the 2012 record of 13.2 GW, and over 60% of these capacities should be commissioned in the last quarter of 2020, just before the expiration of the US production tax credit (PTC). Nearly 1/3 of the new capacity should be installed in Texas (32%), followed by Oklahoma (6%), Wyoming, Colorado, and Missouri (5% each). Solar PV capacity additions should also exceed the record of 2016 (8 GW) with over 13 GW commissioned in 2020. Four states will concentrate more than half of the utility-scale solar PV capacity additions, namely Texas (22%), California (15%), Florida (11%), and South Carolina (10%). More than 5 GW of small-scale solar PV capacity is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2020. 9.3 GW of gas-fired power plants should be commissioned in 2020, including 6.7 GW of CCGT power plants and 2.3 GW of combustion-turbine power plants, with 70% of the new capacity added in Pennsylvania, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

These new capacities are expected to offset the retirement of 11 GW of power capacity. Half of the retirements (51%) will affect coal-fired power plants (5.8 GW), mainly in Kentucky and Ohio, while 1/3 will affect gas-fired power plants (3.7 GW), mainly in California, and 14% (1.6 GW) nuclear power plants (Indian Point-2 reactor in New York due to retire in April 2020 and Duane Arnold Energy Center in Iowa due to retire in December 2020).

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