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Green electricity overtakes coal in USA

  • 7 months ago (2019-06-13)
  • David Flin
Coal 114 North America 817 Renewables 635 Solar 97 Wind 103

According to data released by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), renewables installed capacity equalled 21.56 per cent of the country’s total generation capacity in April, compared with coal-fired capacity of 21.55 per cent. Natural gas-fired capacity accounts for 44.44 per cent of US power generation capacity.

Two new coal-fired projects are planned for completion by May 2022, adding 867 MW of coal-fired generation, while 50 units with a total generating capacity of 13.3 GW are due for retirement over the same period.

Of a total of what FERC calls “high probability additions”, new wind capacity additions total 25.36 GW, and new solar additions will total 14.85 GW. This will be around 54 per cent of all newly added capacity by May 2022. Natural gas accounts for about 38 per cent of added generation by the same date.

FERC reported a total of all proposed additions to US generation capacity of 275.79 GW. Only two coal-fired additions are being proposed, while 543 wind projects have been proposed that would add 101.4 GW of wind generation, and 2510 solar projects have been proposed that would add 84.7 GW of new solar capacity.

Five years ago, the unsubsidised levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from wind power was $59 per MWh, and the unsubsidised LCOE from solar power was $79 per MWh. In 2018, wind’s LCOE had $42 and solar power’s to $43.