US future power capacity additions will be renewable and gas-fired

11 Jan 2019

According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), approximately 23.7 GW of new capacity additions and 8.3 GW of capacity retirements are expected for the domestic power generation sector in 2019.

Wind parks will represent 46% of the utility-scale capacity additions, while gas-fired plants and solar parks will account for 34% and 18%, respectively. The remaining 2% will consist mostly of other renewable sources and battery storage. More specifically, 10.9 GW of wind parks are currently scheduled to come onstream by the end of the year, most of which in Texas, Iowa, and Illinois. As for gas-fired capacity additions, they will entail primarily CCGT power plants (6.1 GW) and combustion-turbine facilities (1.4 GW); 60% of the expected gas-fired capacity additions will be located in three states, namely Pennsylvania, Florida, and Louisiana. 4.3 GW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity will come online in 2019, with nearly half of this capacity in three states (Texas, California and North Carolina). Besides, an additional 3.9 GW of small-scale solar PV capacity will come online, which includes for instance distributed PV or rooftop systems.

As for capacity retirements, they will be spread as follows: coal-fired plants (53%), natural gas (27%), and nuclear facilities (18%). The remaining 2% entail a hydroelectric power plant and other smaller renewable and petroleum capacity. 4.5 GW of coal-fired capacity will be withdrawn in 2019, which is much less than the 13.7 GW that retired in 2018. 2.2 GW of gas-fired will retire as well, most of which (2 GW) are steam turbine plants. As for nuclear power, 1.5 GW will be shut down in 2019: the Pilgrim power plant in Massachusetts in May and the last unit of the Three Mile Island facility in September.

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