EIA: Wind to beat hydro as leading US renewable resource in next 2 years
Because the weather is hard to predict, so too are wind and hydro generation.
“Because few new hydro plants are expected to come online in the next two years, hydroelectric generation in 2018 and 2019 will largely depend on precipitation and water runoff,” EIA said in its analysis today. “Although changes in weather patterns also affect wind generation, the forecast for wind power output is more dependent on the capacity and timing of new wind turbines coming online.”
Even so, the number of wind projects slated to come online in the next two years, in part to beat the federal production tax credit slated to phase out completely by 2021, could give the resource the edge it needs to beat hydro.
According to the agency’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, wind capacity is likely to increase by 8.3 GW in 2018 and 8 GW in 2019 and, if not delayed, would add 9% and 8% to utility-scale wind capacity by the end of 2018 and 2019 respectively.