Natural gas became the leader of all U.S. energy resources for new electric generating capacity installed in 2018, according to a statement by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
U.S. utility-scale additions in 2018 mostly consisted of natural gas with 62 percent, wind constituted 21 percent, and solar photovoltaics had a 16 percent share, the EIA said on Friday, adding that the remaining 2 percent of additions were mostly from hydroelectric and battery storage capacity.
"Almost 90 percent of the 19.3 gigawatts (GW) of natural gas-fired capacity in the U.S. added in 2018 were combined-cycle generators, the most efficient natural gas-fired generating technology," the statement said.
The 18.7 GW of U.S. generating capacity that retired in 2018 came primarily from coal with a 69 percent share, natural gas with a 25 percent share, nuclear generators with a 3 percent share, while the remaining came mostly from hydroelectric and petroleum generating capacity, according to the EIA.
The administration showed that 31.3 GW of electric generating capacity was added in the U.S. last year, while 18.7 GW of capacity were retired. The annual capacity additions in 2018 were the largest since 2003 when 48.8 GW were added, it added.
Most of the electric generating capacity additions in 2018 happened in the second half of the year, while the retirements occurred mostly in the first half, according to the administration.
By Ovunc Kutlu