S

olar fans, get ready to celebrate: fresh statistics reveal that solar energy is setting the pace in the United States. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent "Energy Infrastructure Update" shows that from January to August 2023, solar is leading the pack among energy sources in the U.S.

According to the report, solar was responsible for 40% of all new power generation capacity added in the first eight months of this year, contributing 8,980 MW to the grid. Just to put it in perspective, in the same period last year, solar only made up 33% of new additions.

Natural gas, long considered the go-to for new energy generation, closely trailed solar with 8,949 MW of new installations. The rest are lagging far behind—wind energy contributed 2,761 MW (12.5% of new capacity), followed by nuclear with 1,100 MW (5%).

While some renewables didn't shine as brightly as others, their collective result was still noteworthy. Together, they added over 12,000 MW, accounting for a solid 54% of all new power capacity from January to August.

FERC's future outlook for solar energy is nothing short of optimistic. They anticipate "high-probability" additions of an astounding 83,878 MW between September 2023 and August 2026, with 879 new solar facilities expected to come online. For comparison, wind energy is expected to add 21,453 MW, while natural gas may only contribute 4,037 MW.

As of now, solar only accounts for about 7.21% of the total available installed generating capacity. But with these new compelling stats and upbeat forecasts, it is set to take a much larger slice of the energy pie soon.

The solar cost per kWh varies depending on factors like location and system size. On average, it ranges from $0.05 to $0.25 per kWh over the lifetime of the system.

Sources:

https://cms.ferc.gov/media/energy-infrastructure-update-august-2023

Posted 
Nov 30, 2023
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