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New data shows stronger than expected growth in renewables

According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), sharp declines are predicted for fossil fuels and nuclear power while renewable energy – including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind is forecast to experience even stronger growth than previously projected.

FERC’s update includes data up through August 2019, that indicates “proposed additions under construction” and “proposed retirements” combined could result in a net decrease in the generating capacity of fossil fuels (i.e., coal, natural gas, oil) as well as a net decline of 4.56 percent in nuclear capacity by August 2022.

The independent federal agency also forecasts “robust” increases in solar and wind development and a large increase in natural gas capacity. However, even with the large increase in natural gas capacity, it won’t be enough to offset the sizeable drops in coal and oil, resulting in an overall decrease in burning fossil fuels for power in the U.S.

Renewables, particularly wind and solar generating capacity will see an increase of more than 47 gigawatts (GW) by 2022. Net new natural gas generating capacity is projected to increase by 19,757 megawatts (MW), which is more than offset by a drop of 18,957 MW in coal’s net generating capacity and a decline of 3,016 MW in that of oil. Further, nuclear power is foreseen as dropping by 4,851 MW, reports EcoWatch.

*“Other” includes purchased steam  tires  and miscellaneous technology such as batteries  fuel c...

*“Other” includes purchased steam, tires, and miscellaneous technology such as batteries, fuel cells, energy storage, and fly wheel.
** Under Constructions includes units that have started site preparation or construction. It also includes units that are in the testing phase.

Murray Energy, the largest coal company in the U.S. (whose CEO is a big fan of asking the Trump administration for coal bailouts), recently declared bankruptcy. Forbes published a column explaining how that came about. Basically, the answer can be summed up in three words: “free market forces.”

A recent Bloomberg report highlighted those same free market forces when it forecast the probable losses for Europe’s coal industry to the tune of $7.3 billion this year.

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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