The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) anticipates the capacity for utility-scale wind and solar energy will increase from 115.5 GW in 2017 to more than 231 GW in 2020. The forecast of the doubling of solar and wind energy in the United States was reported in the FERC’s report entitled, Energy Infrastructure Update.
The FERC anticipates that capacity for utility-scale coal fueled power plants will decline by 18.7 GW and nuclear fueled power plants will decline by 2.3 GW by 2020. This would equate to a 6.6% decline of coal capacity and a 2.2% decline of nuclear capacity in 2020 from 2017 capacity levels.
The FERC also anticipates that capacity for utility scale natural gas fueled power plants will increase by 81.7 GW. This would equate to a 15.8% increase in natural gas capacity in 2020 from 2017 capacity levels. The capacity for utility scale petroleum fueled power plants are not expected to change in 2020 from 2017 capacity levels.
The capacity for hydropower for utility scale power plants is forecast to increase by 12.7 GW by the FERC. The capacity for biomass and geothermal for utility scale power plants is forecast to increase by 898 GW and 1.6 GW respectively.
In summary, the FERC is anticipating amount of renewable energy for utility scale power plants will increase from 19.9% to 26.6%. The FERC’s forecast is based on trend analysis and forecasts from all the utilities in the United States. In other words, the probability the continued growth in renewable energy in the United States is very high.