Most of the U.S.' new power generating capacity is expected to come from wind and solar in 2020, the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The EIA said it expects 42 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity additions to start commercial operation in 2020, while solar and wind energy are estimated to represent almost 32 GW, or 76%, of these additions.
Of the 42 GW of new additions, wind is anticipated to account for the largest share with 18.5 GW, or 44%. If this amount is reached, it will surpass the record level of electricity generation capacity from wind energy that was set in 2012 at 13.2 GW.
In 2020, solar energy is estimated to come second in power generating additions with 13.5 GW, or 32%, of new capacity, which would exceed the previous annual record addition of 8 GW in 2016.
For natural gas, planned capacity additions for 2020 are 9.3 GW, or 22%, with combined-cycle plants accounting for 6.7 GW and combustion-turbine plants accounting for 2.3 GW. The remaining 2% of new electricity generating capacity in the U.S. is expected to come from hydroelectric generators and battery storage, according to the EIA.
Scheduled capacity retirements in the U.S. for 2020 will be 11 GW, mostly driven by coal at 51%, followed by natural gas at 33%, and nuclear at 14%.
"Other smaller renewable, petroleum, and hydro capacity account for the remaining 2% of 2020 retirements," the statement said.
Of the 5.8 GW of coal-fired capacity that is expected to retire in 2020, half of the capacity is located in the U.S. states of Kentucky and Ohio.
Natural gas retirements in 2020 are forecast to total 3.7 GW, while two nuclear plants located in the states of New York and Iowa totaling 1.6 GW are currently scheduled to retire in 2020.
By Ovunc Kutlu