US may install an additional 21 GW in 2022 and 25 GW in 2023: EIA

US may install an additional 21 GW in 2022 and 25 GW in 2023: EIA

In its short-term energy outlook, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts solar capacity growth in the United States to be approximately 21 GW in 2022 and 25 GW in 2023. The country is also expected to install 7 GW of new wind capacity in 2022 and 4 GW in 2023.

The EIA said most of the growth in US electricity generation in 2022 and 2023 is expected to come from new renewable energy sources, which is shifting the focus away from fossil fuels. The power sector had 63 GW of operational solar capacity and 135 GW of wind capacity at the end of 2021.

Forecasts suggested that the share of non-hydro renewable sources, including solar and wind, would increase from 13% in 2021 to 17% in 2023. Electricity generation from natural gas will drop from 37% in 2021 to 34% by 2023, and the share of coal will drop from 23% to 22%.

Although natural gas prices continued to decline, the report said the operating cost of renewable generators would remain lower than those of natural gas-powered projects. It said regions with the most significant increases in renewable capacities, such as Texas and the Midwest regions, would experience the most significant reductions in natural gas production.

According to the EIA, the share of solar power generation capacity driven by the electricity sector at the end of 2021 increased by more than 20 times compared to the end of 2011. Wind power capacity has grown more than twice in the past decade.

On the other hand, coal-fired projects in the electricity generation mix have seen a steady decline since their peak in 2007 and increased use of natural gas due to its continued low prices. However, the trend reversed in 2021 as the cost of natural gas delivered to the US averaged $4.88 per million British thermal units, more than double the average price in 2020. The electricity generation share of natural gas declined to 37% in 2021 from 39%. In 2020, while the share of coal increased to 23% for the first time since 2014.

According to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, the US solar market installed a record 5.7 GW of solar capacity in the second quarter of 2021, up 45% compared to 3.5 GW installed in the same period last year. ,

Mercom previously reported that SEIA increased its target for the Solar+ decade to 30% of total electricity generation in the US by 2030. The previous target was 20% by 2030.