If a Power Plant Is Built in U.S., It’s Likely to be Renewable
That’s the gist of a report the U.S. Department of Energy released this week showing that, together, wind and solar accounted for nearly two-thirds of all new electric power plants built in 2015. It’s a trend expected to continue through 2016, even with low natural gas prices likely to keep utilities building plenty of gas-fired power plants, too.
“Right now, it’s primarily a wind and solar market,” U.S. Energy Information Administration analyst Chris Namovicz said, adding that renewables have been thriving on an extension of wind and solar tax credits, though wind is becoming competitive with fossil fuels even without the help of a tax credit.
Together, wind and solar accounted for 67 percent of all new electric power generation capacity built in the U.S. in 2015. That adds up to more than 13 gigawatts of carbon-free electric power generation capacity, enough to provide power to more than 9 million homes.
Natural gas accounted for 30 percent of new electric power generation capacity built last year.
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