According to the EIA, 2019 should mark the first year that wind energy exceeds hydropower generation in the U.S.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). According to the STEO, non-hydropower renewables provided slightly less than 10% of electricity generation in 2017 and are expected to provide more than 10% in 2018 and nearly 11% in 2019.
In 2017, EIA estimates that wind generation averaged 697,000 megawatthours per day (MWh/d). It now forecasts that wind generation will rise to 746,000 MWh/d in 2018 and to 777,000 MWh/d in 2019.
If factors such as precipitation and snowpack remain as forecast, conventional hydropower is forecast to generate 752,000 MWh/d in 2019, which would make it the first year that wind generation exceeds hydropower generation in the United States.
“EIA’s June forecast is for wind energy to overtake hydro in terms of electricity generation in 2019, which marks a historic shift in the share of renewables generation. We can attribute this shift, in large part, to significant increases in wind generation capacity, going from about 81 gigawatts in 2016 to a forecasted 104 gigawatts in 2019,” says a spokesperson for the EIA.
The full STEO can be downloaded here.
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