A Change in the Winds: EIA Forecasts Bump in Renewable Energy for 2020

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January 16, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information
Administration (“EIA”) released its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (“STEO”)
on January 14, 2020, which can be found here.  This STEO is the first to include
energy forecasts into 2021. 

Among the interesting forecasts contained in the STEO is the prediction surrounding the rise in renewable energy for 2020 and into 2021.  Specifically, the forecasts surrounding the increases in wind generation caught my eye.

Wind and solar generation expected to
grow 15% in 2020

The predicted increase in wind generation is also discussed in detail in the EIA’s Today in Energy entitled, EIA forecasts slower growth in natural gas-fired generation while renewable energy rises. The EIA forecasts that “generation from nonhydropower renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, will grow by 15% in 2020—the fastest rate in four years.”

Specifically,
the EIA reportedly
“expects a 32% increase of new wind capacity – or nearly 30 GW [gigawatts] – to
be installed in 2019 and 2020.” 

Wind and solar generation expected to
grow 17% in 2021

What
is more, the EIA expects its forecasted changes in electric power generation to
continue into 2021.  According to Today in Energy, the “EIA forecasts U.S. generation from nonhydropower renewable energy
sources will grow by 17% next year as the electric power sector continues
expanding solar and wind capacity.”

Although
many were expecting to see forecasts predicting electricity generation from
renewable energy sources to rise, many were not expecting to see such
significant increases forecasted in the area of wind generation specifically.  Only time will tell if wind will truly expand
at these high rates in 2020 and into 2021. 
Stay tuned!