Renewables accounted for close to 70% of new generating capacity in 2022

According to the latest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) report renewable energy sources accounted for 13,205-MW or 68.4% of the 19,316-MW of new generation put into service this year in United States.

More importantly, solar with 6,751-megawatts (MW) and wind with 6,328-MW each provided more new generating capacity during the first three-quarters of this year than did natural gas (6,086-MW). Also, FERC’s three-year forecast predicts that installed natural gas capacity will begin to decline by fall 2025 while that of solar and wind continues to rapidly grow.

Also, no new capacity was reported for 2022 from coal.  These numbers bring renewable energy’s share of total U.S. available installed generating capacity up to 26.96%: wind – 11.23%, hydropower – 8.05%, solar – 6.14%, biomass – 1.22%, and geothermal – 0.32%. For comparison, five years earlier, renewables’ share was 19.84%. Ten years ago, it was just 14.79%. 

FERC also reports that there may be as much as 206,184-MW of new solar capacity in the pipeline with 71,617-MW classified as “high probability” additions and no offsetting “retirements.” The “high probability” additions alone would nearly double utility-scale solar’s current installed capacity of 77,210-MW while successful completion of all projects in the pipeline would nearly quadruple it. 

Also,  new wind capacity by September 2025 could total 70,808-MW with 18,252-MW being “high probability” and only 140-MW of retirements expected. Thus, installed wind capacity (now 141,110-MW)  could grow by at least 12.8% and likely by much more.

FERC also reports that no new coal generating capacity in the three-year pipeline but 19,106-MW of expected retirements. Oil generating capacity is projected to fall by 1,710-MW as well.