Renewables account for 99% of new electricity connected to U.S. grid in 2024

Renewables account for 99% of new electricity connected to U.S. grid in 2024

According to the latest data released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), renewables have provided nearly all – 99.2% – new U.S. generating capacity since the beginning of 2024 through April. The SUN DAY Campaign reviewed the data and found that in the first four months of 2024, solar and wind added 7,899 MW and 1,825 MW, respectively, while biomass added 3 MW and hydropower added 1 MW. The balance consisted of 67 MW of gas, 5 MW of oil and 3 MW of “other.”

Specifically for the month of April, 1,324 MW of solar were placed into service along with 737 MW of wind. The balance for April was provided by gas at just 16 MW.

The new solar capacity added from January through April this year was more than double the solar capacity (3,777 MW) added during the same period last year. Year-to-date, solar accounted for 80.6% of all new generation placed into service.

Solar has now been the largest source of new generating capacity for eight months straight: September 2023 through April 2024. For six of those eight months, wind took second place.

The latest capacity additions have brought solar’s share of total available installed utility-scale generating capacity up to 8.56%, further expanding its lead over hydropower (7.84%). Wind is currently at 11.77%. With the inclusion of biomass (1.13%) and geothermal (0.32%), renewables now claim a 29.62% share of total U.S. utility-scale generating capacity.

Installed utility-scale solar has now moved into fourth place – behind gas (43.58%), coal (15.79%) and wind for its share of generating capacity after having recently surpassed that of nuclear power (8.06%).

The combined capacities of just solar and wind now constitute more than one-fifth (20.33%) of the nation’s total available installed utility-scale generating capacity.

However, a third or more of U.S. solar capacity is in the form of small-scale systems that is not reflected in FERC’s data. Including that additional solar capacity would bring the share provided by solar + wind closer to a quarter of the nation’s total.

“The combination of wind and solar is now more than a fifth of U.S. generating capacity and may be closer to a quarter if one adds in small-scale solar,” noted SUN DAY Campaign executive director Ken Bossong. “Including distributed solar, the mix of all renewables is now poised to surpass natural gas capacity within the next three years.”