New electricity capacity in the U.S. this year will mostly come from natural gas and renewable energy, the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Thursday.
In 2019, an addition of 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity capacity is estimated for the U.S., while 8.3 GW of capacity retirements are expected in the power sector.
The capacity additions in the U.S. consist mostly of wind with 46 percent, natural gas with 34 percent, and solar photovoltaics with 18 percent, while the remaining 2 percent is expected to come from other renewables and battery storage capacity, according to the EIA.
For wind, a total of 10.9 GW of capacity is scheduled to come online towards the end of this year. More than half of the planned capacity additions in 2019 will come from the American states of Texas, Iowa, and Illinois, the EIA said.
Most of the natural gas capacity is scheduled to become online by June 2019 in preparation for high summer demand. The planned natural gas capacity additions are mostly in the form of combined-cycle plants, with 6.1 GW, and combustion-turbine plants with 1.4 GW.
For solar, nearly half of the 4.3 GW capacity additions are located in three states -- Texas, California, and North Carolina. In addition to the electric power sector, other industries such as the residential and commercial sectors, also install solar photovoltaics, the EIA said.
- Capacity retirements
The scheduled electricity capacity retirements for 2019 primarily consist of coal with 53 percent, natural gas with 27 percent, and nuclear with 18 percent.
The remaining 2 percent capacity comes from a single hydroelectric plant in the state of Washington along with other smaller renewable and petroleum plants, according to the statement.
Most of the coal retirements in the U.S. are scheduled to occur at the end of this year, the EIA said.
Half of the planned retirement capacity for coal is located at a single plant -- Navajo in Arizona, which first came online during the 1970s.
The 4.5 GW of coal-fired capacity is expected to retire in 2019. This amount is relatively small compared to last year, since 13.7 GW of capacity was retired in 2018 -- the second-highest amount of coal capacity retired in the U.S. in a single year, according to the EIA.
The scheduled natural gas retirements are expected to total 2.2 GW in 2019, which will mainly consist of steam turbine plants with 2 GW.
'The natural gas steam turbine plants that are scheduled to retire are all older units that came online in the 1950s or 1960s. Most of the retiring natural gas steam turbine capacity, 1.6 GW, is located in California,' the statement said.
For nuclear power, two plants totaling 1.5 GW are scheduled to retire in 2019, one in May and the other in September.
By Ovunc Kutlu