Renewables to provide nearly a quarter of U.S. electricity
The share of renewable energy sources in U.S. power generation will rise to nearly 23 % next year, according to a forecast by the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy.

But the largest single energy source will remain gas – and its share of the total could rise. But analysts say that could be a temporary phenomenon.

    Renewable sources – including wind, hydro power, solar power, biomass and geothermal energy took over second place in terms of use in the United States in 2020. But in that year, the rise in capacity of solar and wind power was offset by a reduction in hydroelectric power generation.

    As a result, the share of renewables in power generation from 2020 to 2021 was unchanged at 20%.

    Gas, the largest single generating source, will provide 36 % of electricity production this year and in 2022 that figure will stand at 37 %. A year ago it accounted for 39% of the total.

    Analysts had anticipated an even greater share for gas, but the rising cost of fuel had proved a significant influence on the indicator

    They believe price rises will make consumers look to coal as an alternative. Its share of total power production is set to rise to 23 % from 20% the previous year. But its share of the total next year is to slip to 21 %.

    The share attributable to nuclear power continues to decline – to 20% this year from 21% in 2020. Next year’s share will decrease again to 19% – owing to the closure of a number of nuclear plants.   The EIA believes that the growth in wind power capacity will put the total this year at 17.6 GW (14.7 GW in 2020) with a forecast of 6.3 GW in 2022.

      Solar power capacity is to total 16.2 GW this year and 16.6 GW in 2022. Solar power capacity is to rise significantly in Texas. And every year, 5 GW of small-capacity installations is expected.

    Carbon dioxide emissions In the United States, declined 11 % in 2020, but the figure is to rise 7 % this year, linked to a rise in energy consumption. In 2022, the indicator is due to rise by 1%.


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August 2021