Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that the United States generated more electricity from renewable energy sources than coal last year. According to the EIA, declining costs and rising subsidies contribute to renewables displacing fossil fuels.
“Economic growth paired with increasing electrification in end-use sectors results in stable growth in U.S. electric power demand through 2050 in all cases,” noted the EIA. “Declining capital costs for solar panels, wind turbines, and battery storage, as well as government subsidies such as those included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), result in renewables becoming increasingly cost-effective compared with the alternatives when building new power capacity.”
The Inflation Reduction Act will significantly impact renewable energy sources within the United States since it provides incentives for wind and solar power generation.
The EIA states that renewables are increasingly meeting power demand. The government agency predicts that renewable power capacity will increase throughout all regions in the United States this year. However, renewable power capacity will vary depending on resource availability. In some cases, regions may mix renewable and fossil fuel sources to generate power.
Meanwhile, natural gas, coal, and nuclear generation shares have declined. The EIA predicts a sharp decline in coal-fired generation by 2030. Coal-fired generation is expected to drastically drop by about 50% from the current levels (around 200 GW), then it will continue to gradually decline in the years after. By 2050, coal-fired capacity is expected to be between 23 GW and 103 GW.