United States

United States

Renewable capacity surpasses coal in Trump's America

The US has 257.53GW of renewable energy capacity installed, now greater than the total capacity of its coal-generation fleet, which stands at 257.48GW, government figures show.

The level of coal capacity will fall in the US, to be mostly replaced by renewables (pic: Peabody Energy)
The level of coal capacity will fall in the US, to be mostly replaced by renewables (pic: Peabody Energy)

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The latest numbers from the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC), found in April 2019 178MW of new wind and solar capacity was added in the US, taking renewables past coal for the first time.

FERC’s figures show there is now 98.62GW of wind online in the US, just behind the 100.44GW of installed hydro capacity.

There is also 38.54GW of solar, 16.1GW of biomass and 3.83GW of geothermal generation operating.

Natural gas remains the main supplier of electricity in the US, by capacity, with 531.08GW installed as of the end of April.

There is also 106.99GW of nuclear and 39.77GW of oil electricity generation, according to FERC data.

Net gain

FERC also forecast the level of capacity additions and retirements expected by May 2022. 

Over the next three years, FERC predicts 25.36GW of new wind capacity and over 16.5GW of other renewables is highly probable.

This compares to just 867MW of new coal capacity, which will ultimately decrease as 13.3GW of capacity is retired over the timeframe. 

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