10 January 2018 2018 06:01 AM GMT

US: Doubling Of Wind & Solar Capacity Possible By 2020 as Coal & Nuclear Drop

In the latest issue of its “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through November 30, 2017), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes that proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar could total 115,984 megawatts (MW) by December 2020 – effectively doubling their current installed capacity of 115,520 MW.

At the same time, the FERC report suggests that coal might experience a net decline of 18,723 MW (equivalent to 6.60% of current capacity) while nuclear power drops by 2,342 MW (equivalent to 2.16% of current capacity). The numbers were released as FERC prepares for a January 10 meeting to consider U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for a bailout of the coal and nuclear industries.

FERC’s data also outlines the retirement of 10,803 MW of natural gas capacity by the end of 2020 but offset by the potential addition of 92,489 MW for a net gain of 81,686 MW — an amount that would increase current natural gas capacity by 15.82%. Oil generating capacity would remain largely unchanged with retirements of 571 MW and additions of 762 MW.

Renewable sources, however, could see the largest increase in their share of the nation’s total installed generating capacity through December 2020.

Proposed additions for wind total 72,526 MW with only 68 MW of retired capacity while solar could add 43,528 MW and experience just 2 MW of retirements. Hydropower, while retiring 706 MW, would grow by 12,732 MW. Biomass might add 945 MW and retire 47 MW while geothermal could expand by 1,610 MW without any retirements. In total, proposed net generation additions for the mix of renewable sources totals 130,518 MW.

Should the proposed generation additions and retirements prove accurate, within three years, the mix of renewables would account for more than a quarter (26.57%) of the nation’s installed generating capacity – up from one-fifth (19.91%) today. Solar and wind combined would equal nearly 17 percent (16.74%) of capacity by December 2020.

“FERC’s data probably should not be interpreted as being a forecast or prediction,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Rather, it is better viewed as a confirmation of recent trends – rapid growth by solar, wind, and natural gas accompanied by more modest gains by hydropower, geothermal, and biomass while coal and nuclear power experience sharp declines.”

The data from the report can be found in the table titled “Proposed Generation Additions and Retirements by December 2020” in the latest 6-page issue of FERC’s “Energy Infrastructure Update” released on January 3, 2018. The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1992 to aggressively promote sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.

September 20th 2018
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

May 20th 2018
European Parliament Gives A Resounding Vote In Favour Of Clean Energy In Europe

European lawmakers have called for a renewable energy target of 35% for 2030 – rather than the 27% which the European Commission proposed in 2016. The MEPs have now backed measures substantially raising the European Union’s clean-energy ambitions. By 2030, more than one-third of energy consumed in the EU should be from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. The measures are intended to help cut carbon dioxide emissions. The EU is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, releasing about 10% of global emissions. 

September 19th 2018
EU Supports Denmark’s Drive Towards 50% Energy Sourcing From Renewables By 2030

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules, three schemes to support electricity production from wind and solar in Denmark in 2018 and 2019. The Renewable Energy Directive established targets for all Member States’ shares of renewable energy sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020. For Denmark, that target is 30% by 2020. Furthermore, Denmark has a goal of supplying 50% of its energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030 and to become independent from fossil fuels by 2050. All three schemes aim to contribute to reaching those targets.

January 10th 2018
US: Doubling Of Wind & Solar Capacity Possible By 2020 as Coal & Nuclear Drop

In the latest issue of its “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through November 30, 2017), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes that proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar could total 115,984 megawatts (MW) by December 2020 – effectively doubling their current installed capacity of 115,520 MW.  The numbers were released as FERC prepares for a January 10 meeting to consider U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for a bailout of the coal and nuclear industries.

September 29th 2018
IRENA: Innovation Front and Centre, As Leaders Shape the Future Energy System

Participants from more than 80 countries explored the disruptive innovations in digitalisation and decentralisation that are transforming energy systems around the world. Remarkable cost reductions driven by technological innovation and an increasingly conducive policy environment have made renewable energy increasingly competitive with conventional fuels in many parts of the world. In parallel, innovations such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart charging of electric vehicles, and hydrogen power and storage are making energy systems increasingly integrated and flexible and are supporting the transition to a renewable-powered future.

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