Gas, renewables dominated new generation last year 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, January 30, 2015

Natural gas and renewables made up the bulk of new generation that came online last year, according to a report the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released today.

Fifty-nine gas-fired units — almost 7,500 megawatts — were the largest addition to the grid last year, followed by more than 4,000 MW of wind and a little more than 3,000 MW of solar capacity, according to FERC staff’s findings.

Only one unit, or 106 MW, of coal-fired generation was added last year, a sharp drop from the more than 1,500 MW installed in 2013, according to the report. FERC staff cited data from third parties Ventyx Global LLC, Velocity Suite and the C Three Group LLC as sources of data.

As of December, natural gas made up the largest amount of installed operating generating capacity, with more than 42 percent, while coal accounted for about 28 percent and nuclear 9.1 percent, according to the report.

Renewable advocates said the report shows fossil fuels are slipping.

“Can there any longer be doubt about the emerging trends in new U.S. electrical capacity?” Ken Bossong, Sun Day Campaign executive director, said in a statement. “Coal, oil, and nuclear have become historical relics and it is now a race between renewable sources and natural gas with renewables taking the lead.”