The estimated US electric power sector by June is 65 GW of utility-scale solar-generating capacity and 138 GW of wind capacity.

From Clean Technica:

In our Summer Electricity Outlook, a supplement to our May 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook, we expect the largest increases in U.S. electric power sector generation this summer will come from renewable energy sources. These increases are the result of new capacity additions. We forecast utility-scale solar generation between June and August 2022 will grow by 10 million megawatt-hours (MWh) compared with the same period last summer, and wind generation will grow by 8 million MWh. Forecast generation from coal and natural gas declines by 26 million MWh this summer, although natural gas generation could increase in some electricity markets where coal supplies are constrained.

Wind and solar power electric-generating capacity has been growing steadily in recent years. By the start of June, we estimate the U.S. electric power sector will have 65 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar-generating capacity, a 31% increase in solar capacity since June 2021. Almost one-third of this new solar capacity will be built in the Texas electricity market. The electric power sector will also have an estimated 138 GW of wind capacity online this June, which is a 12% increase from last June.

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Source: Clean Technica

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Can California really rely on gigawatts of solar and wind power and batteries, plus long-duration energy storage systems and ​firm” carbon-free resources like geothermal power plants, to replace the need for most of its fossil-fueled power by the end of the decade? And can it do so without driving power prices through the roof or exposing the state to the risk of major blackouts?

Yes, new modeling suggests — but the state is likely to be more successful if it dramatically ramps up offshore wind and geothermal power and depends less than previous forecasts have suggested on new utility-scale solar farms.

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Source: Canary Media

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Solar power is expected to account for 10% of global power generation by 2030, and much of that power is likely to be harvested in desert areas, where sunlight is abundant. But the accumulation of dust on solar panels or mirrors can reduce the output of photovoltaic panels by as much as 30% in just one month.

The regular cleaning that solar panels require currently is estimated to use about 10 billion gallons of water per year—enough to supply drinking water for up to 2 million people. Water cleaning also makes up about 10% of the operating costs of solar installations since water typically has to be trucked in from a distance and must be very pure to avoid leaving deposits on the surfaces. But waterless cleaning methods are less effective and labor-intensive and tend to scratch the panels, which also reduces their efficiency.

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Source: MIT Technology Review

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US electricity generation from renewable sources will increase to 23% in 2023 from 20% last year, as solar and wind begin to erode the leading market share of natural gas, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

That shift, if lasting, would end the steady market gains of natural gas that began in 2014, enabling it to surpass coal two years later as the leading generation source in the world’s largest electricity market. Renewables will take 22% of the US power market this year.

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Source: RECHARGE

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San Diego is going to need lots of renewable energy if it’s going to nix planet-warming emissions from its economy in the coming decades, as it has pledged to do. One new study shows the county could technically generate what its people will need within its borders, but San Diego will probably need help from its neighbors.

Enter Imperial County. With a population 18 times smaller than San Diego, this 4.4 thousand square mile swath of land is rich in resources. It has first dibs on Colorado River water over entire western states, fueling a $2 billion agricultural industry that provides much of America’s winter vegetables.

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Source: Voice of San Diego

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Solar capacity factors rose across all independent system operators in 2020, pushing the weighted U.S. average up 1.8 percentage points year over year as more than three-quarters of the states housing utility-scale solar projects experienced increases.

The 2020 weighted U.S. solar capacity factor comes in at a calculated 24.4%, based on S&P Global Commodity Insights estimates. The California ISO tops the ISO leaderboard at nearly 27%, but Utah leads the pack across state lines, with solar plants in the Beehive State averaging almost 30%. Wisconsin, meanwhile, logged the largest gains from 2019 to 2020, up an estimated 8.6 percentage points.

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Source: S&P Global

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California, which aims to have a carbon-free power grid within 25 years, got a short glimpse of that possibility earlier this month.

The state’s main grid ran on more than 97% renewable energy at 3:39 p.m. on Sunday April 3, breaking a previous record of 96.4% that was set just a week earlier, the California Independent System Operator said Thursday in a statement.

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Source: Bloomberg

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In 2021, Americans used 5% more energy than in 2020, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Last year, Americans used 97.3 quads (quadrillion BTU) of energy, which is 4.4 quads more than last year’s 92.9 quads – equivalent to a 5% increase.

Both 2020 and 2021 annual energy consumption totals are less than 2018 and 2019, where Americans used more than 100 quads per year.

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Source: Solar Industry

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Solar power has overtaken wind for the first time, in the race to develop renewable energy capacity around the globe.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), solar energy now accounts for 28% of the world’s renewable electricity generation capacity, just ahead of wind with 27%. This time last year, the two were evenly matched at 26% each.

The figures come from the latest Renewable Capacity Statistics report, released by the UAE-based organization on April 11.

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Source: Forbes

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A few years ago, the kind of double-digit drop in oil and gas prices the world is experiencing now because of the coronavirus pandemic might have increased the use of fossil fuels and hurt renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms.

That is not happening.

In fact, renewable energy sources are set to account for nearly 21 percent of the electricity the United States uses for the first time this year, up from about 18 percent last year and 10 percent in 2010, according to one forecast published last week. And while work on some solar and wind projects has been delayed by the outbreak, industry executives and analysts expect the renewable business to continue growing in 2020 and next year even as oil, gas and coal companies struggle financially or seek bankruptcy protection.

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Source: The New York Times