Chart of the Day: Additions to US Power Plant Capacity

This chart comes from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a national policy thinktank based in Minneapolis.

residential solar energy


Basically it shows how “residential solar” (i.e. panels on houses) has become a meaningful mix in the new additions to the US energy grid. It’s something to think about when thinking about homes, or energy, or cities, or the future.

6 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Additions to US Power Plant Capacity

  1. Brendan Jordan

    Hey Bill. Couple of comments. First – coal will likely all-but-disappear as a new generation source due to EPA rules. Wind will likely ramp up considerably – there was a bit of a lull that year due to the expiring production tax credit. In a typical year (going forward), wind and natural gas should be the main things that get built, with solar in third place (but expanding over time solar pricing continues its relentless decline). Many gigawats of wind will be build in the Midwest in coming years.

  2. Nathanael

    I’m trying to remember what the doubling rate for solar installations is. (Installations are growing exponentially.)

    Oh my god, I looked it up — it’s only 2.2 years.

    Anyway, projecting from that, there will be more residential solar MW installed than coal MW installed in 2016, and more *total* solar MW installed than natural gas MW installed in 2016.

    Solar will probably replace nearly all other forms of electricity generation before 2040.

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