This article was published by the US Energy Information Administration on Sept. 9, 2022.
By Elesia Fasching
In the first six months of 2022, 24 per cent of US utility-scale electricity generation came from renewable sources, based on data from our Electric Power Monthly. The renewables’ share increased from 21 per cent for the same time period last year. Renewables are the fastest-growing electricity generation source in the United States.
Renewable generation sources include conventional hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. In the United States, most renewable electricity generation comes from hydropower, solar, and wind. Generation from renewable energy sources has grown rapidly as renewable capacity, mostly solar and wind, has been added to the grid.
In 2021, a record amount of new utility-scale solar capacity was installed in the United States. From June 2021 to June 2022, 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale solar capacity came online, bringing U.S. utility-scale solar capacity to 65.8 GW, according to our Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. In June 2022, the United States had 137.6 GW of wind capacity, and 10 per cent (14.3 GW) of that capacity was installed between June 2021 and June 2022. Based on planned additions reported to us by power plant owners and developers, another 7.0 GW of wind and 13.0 GW of solar capacity will come online by the end of the year.
Hydropower and wind generation, which, combined, make up the majority of US renewable generation, typically peak in the first half of the year, when there are more windy days and the winter snowpack is melting. In the second half of 2022, we expect that renewables will make up a smaller share of generation than they did in the first half of the year (20 per cent) as wind and hydroelectric generation decline, based on our latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.