Gas, renewables outpace coal expansions — FERC

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporte • Posted: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Natural gas, wind and solar continued to dominate additions to the U.S. energy system during the past four months, according to a new federal study.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s infrastructure update shows the nation added 4,055 megawatts of new natural gas capacity from January through April, as well as 3,216 MW of wind and almost 1,400 MW of solar power.

Missing during that period: new coal-fired capacity.

The FERC report also shows natural gas currently makes up the bulk of the nation’s capacity at more than 43 percent, with coal contributing the second largest portion at a little more than 23 percent. Nuclear power makes up slightly more than 9 percent of overall capacity, while wind hovered around 7 percent and solar amounted to a bit more than 2 percent.

FERC’s report comes as the Trump administration has been touting its efforts to bring back the coal industry (Climatewire, June 6).

But the FERC report shows only new gas plants in Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Texas. And requests for interstate natural gas pipelines and export terminals are continuing to be filed at the agency.