Renewables are now expected to be America’s top electricity source by 2050. Utilities are opting to jump straight into solar and wind as the falling price of renewables (often paired with batteries) turns them into aviable alternative. Most recently, data collected by theUS Federal Energy Regulatory Commission(pdf) shows 86% of new installed capacity at the start of this year came from solar and wind. Natural gas accounted for the rest. (Coal and oil, unsurprisingly, were absent.)
That trend is expected to continue. By 2023, FERC estimates, the US grid is likely to add 51 GW of new renewables (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower), while building 30 GW of new natural gas capacity. (Over that same period, 29 GW ofcoal, oil, and natural gas assetsare expected to be retired.) Natural gas plants remain a keysupplier of peak and base load generation. But once energy storage becomes cheaper, it will become even harder to compete with batteries and other technologies.