In the recently released “Energy Infrastructure Update” by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) documents the continued growth in renewable energy in the United States. Renewable energy (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind) now provides 20.4% of the United States electricity generating capacity.
Wind and solar alone, now provides more electricity capacity (10.2%) than nuclear power (9.1%) in the United States. In January and February 2018, fourteen new wind farms with 1,568 MW capacity and forty solar parks with 2,133 MW capacity commenced operations. Only two natural gas plants with 40 MW capacity commenced operations in January and February 2018. No other energy source (nuclear, coal, oil, hydropower, biomass or geothermal) power plants commenced operations in January and February 2018.
The FERC report anticipates the rapid expansion of renewable energy will continue in the United States through 2021. The FERC forecasts new wind farm capacity will increase by 84,324 MW, natural gas capacity will increase by 77,421 MW, solar park capacity will increase by 48,814 MW and hydropower capacity will increase by 11,839 MW over the next three years.
In my opinion, the FERC’s report clearly indicates the growth of renewable energy will continue for the next three years and almost certainly beyond. In my opinion, it is up to each state to assess their state’s renewable energy resources and then develop a plan to move from fossil fuel (coal, oil and natural gas) to clean energy.