Electricity capacity additions in the U.S. are expected to fall through 2018 to 2024, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration, EIA, said Monday.
Additions to electricity capacity through 2017 will average around 14 gigawatts (GW) per year, said EIA, noting much of those additions are currently under construction.
Meanwhile, projected electricity capacity additions between 2018 and 2024 will be less than 4 GW a year on average, while this amount will be around 12 GW per year on average between 2025 and 2040.
EIA reminded that annual electricity capacity additions were 26 GW a year on average between 2000 and 2013.
The U.S. administration highlighted that the fall will come despite the increase in total generating capacity, which will rise from 1,065 GW in 2013 to 1,261 GW in 2040, and although the amount of capacity added will be more than three times the amount that is expected to retire, as 287 GW will be added and 90 GW to be retired.
Natural gas-fired plants will account for 58 percent of the electricity capacity additions through 2040. Renewables will provide 38 percent of the capacity additions, and nuclear will account for 3 percent.
"Natural gas-fired combined-cycle plants are relatively inexpensive to build in comparison with new coal, nuclear, or renewable technologies, and are generally more efficient to operate than existing steam plants that may be powered by natural gas, oil, or coal," EIA underlined.
EIA data shows, with the shale boom in 2008, the U.S. has significantly raised its shale gas production, from 2 billion cubic feet (60 million cubic meters) in 2008 to 11.4 billion cubic feet (340 million cubic meters) in 2013.
The electricity capacity additions from nuclear power will total 9 GW, while 6 GW are currently under construction and 3 GW are projected to come online after 2029.
By Ovunc Kutlu