U.S. solar power generation forecast to grow 75% through 2025

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released projections for solar and wind energy growth in its recent Short Term Energy Outlook report, showing strong growth in solar and moderate growth for wind.

EIA expects solar generation to grow 75% from 2023 to 2025. In 2023, the U.S. generated about 163 billion kWh, and EIA expects this to reach 286 billion kWh in 2025.

PV Intel data indicates that from January to October 2023, solar power accounted for 5.78% of U.S. electricity, an increase from 4.98% during the same period the previous year. This marks a 16% increase in solar power generation over the previous year.

Meanwhile wind power generation is expected to grow 11%, increasing from 430 billion kWh in 2023 to 476 billion kWh in 2025.

Meanwhile, EIA expects coal generation to decline from 665 billion kWh in 2023 to 548 billion kWh in 2025. Natural gas is expected to remain the largest source of U.S. electricity generation, with 1,700 billion kWh generated in 2024 and 2025. Both natural gas and nuclear power are expected to remain relatively flat in generation contribution over the next two years.

In total, the U.S. electric power sector produced 4,017 billion kWh. Renewable sources including solar, wind, hydroelectric power, biomass, and geothermal, accounted for 22% of the total. Renewable generation as a group passed total nuclear generation in 2021 and surpassed coal in 2022.

Large additions of new renewable energy capacity are driving this shift in generation mix. Solar developers are expected to increase the nation’s total operational capacity by 38%. Total solar capacity is expected to grow from 95 GW at the end of 2023 to 131 GW at the end of 2024.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts the deployment of 45 GWdc in utility-scale solar projects larger than one megawatt in 2024. This is projected increase to about 53 GWdc in 2025. Adding Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables conservative projections of 6 GW in residential solar and 2 GW in commercial projects, the total solar capacity expected for 2024 is 53.5 GW. Projected figures for 2025 suggest a potential total deployment of 65 GW of solar power.

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