2019 US renewable generation additions expected to far outpace gas: EIA
Cheaper prices of natural gas and renewable energy have impacted the competitiveness of more traditional generation fuels.
Renewable additions are projected to more than double gas in 2019. Last year, natural gas capacity additions outpaced renewable energy additions for the first time since 2013. 2018 was also a landmark year for new capacity additions, as EIA expected nearly 32 GW of new capacity — the most in a decade.
The estimates, based on EIA data, do not include additions in the residential and commercial solar sectors, which are expected to be an additional 3.9 GW by the end of 2019.
In 2019, EIA is tracking about 6.1 GW of combined-cycle gas plants and 1.4 GW of combustion-turbine gas plants, expected to be mostly online by June, in order to meet high energy demand during the summer peak. The rest of the expected additions include wind, solar and about 2% of other renewable and battery storage capacity.
Renewable capacity typically comes online at the end of the year, according to the EIA. This matches the upcoming changes in renewable energy tax credits. The wind production tax credit will phase out completely at the end of the year from its current status at 40% of 2015 levels. On the solar side, this is the last year for a full 30% investment tax credit for developing solar energy systems, which will begin to phase down in 2020.