EIA has also forecast that share of power generation from coal in the US falls from 20 per cent in 2022 to 18 per cent in 2023; the forecast share from natural gas declines from 39 per cent to 38 per cent.
Wind energy and solar energy are forecast to account for 16 per cent of US’ total power generation in 2023, up from 14 per cent in 2021, according to the Short-Term Energy Outlook of EIA. Increased power generation capacity from renewables is expected to reduce generation from both coal-fired and natural gas-fired power plants in 2023 and 2024.
One of the most significant shifts in the mix of US electricity generation over the past few years has been the rapid expansion of renewable energy resources, especially solar and wind. The US electric power sector operated about 74 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic capacity at the end of 2022, which is about three times the capacity at the end of 2017. US wind power has grown by more than 60 per cent since 2017 to about 143 GW of capacity, as per EIA.
Based on planned additions reported to EIA, solar capacity will expand another 63 GW (84 per cent) by the end of 2024, which is consistent with its declining construction costs and favourable tax credits. As a result of this expected increase in solar capacity, EIA expects that the solar generation share will rise from 3 per cent of US generation last year to 5 per cent in 2023 and 6 per cent in 2024. Scheduled growth in wind power is slightly slower this year than in recent years, at about 12 GW of new planned capacity over the next two years. The forecast wind generation share in 2023 remains relatively similar to last year, averaging 11 per cent, and then increases to 12 per cent in 2024.
Much of the growth in solar capacity is in Texas and California, where natural gas has been the primary source of electricity. A growing share of generation from renewables, combined with EIA’s forecast of less overall electricity demand this year, displaces some natural gas generation, which will decline slightly, falling from 39 per cent in 2022 to 38 per cent this year and to 37 per cent in 2024. EIA also expects that the coal generation share will decline by two percentage points to 18 per cent this year, as lower natural gas fuel costs make coal a less competitive source for electricity supply. In 2024, coal generation is forecast to fall to 17 per cent.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DP)