A Change in the Winds: EIA Forecasts Bump in Renewable Energy for 2020

Published: January 16, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) released its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (“STEO”) on January 14, 2020, which can be found here.  This STEO is the first to include energy forecasts into 2021. 

Among the interesting forecasts contained in the STEO is the prediction surrounding the rise in renewable energy for 2020 and into 2021.  Specifically, the forecasts surrounding the increases in wind generation caught my eye.

Wind and solar generation expected to grow 15% in 2020

The predicted increase in wind generation is also discussed in detail in the EIA’s Today in Energy entitled, EIA forecasts slower growth in natural gas-fired generation while renewable energy rises. The EIA forecasts that “generation from nonhydropower renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, will grow by 15% in 2020—the fastest rate in four years.”

Specifically, the EIA reportedly “expects a 32% increase of new wind capacity – or nearly 30 GW [gigawatts] – to be installed in 2019 and 2020.” 

Wind and solar generation expected to grow 17% in 2021

What is more, the EIA expects its forecasted changes in electric power generation to continue into 2021. According to Today in Energy, the “EIA forecasts U.S. generation from nonhydropower renewable energy sources will grow by 17% next year as the electric power sector continues expanding solar and wind capacity.”

Although many were expecting to see forecasts predicting electricity generation from renewable energy sources to rise, many were not expecting to see such significant increases forecasted in the area of wind generation specifically. Only time will tell if wind will truly expand at these high rates in 2020 and into 2021. Stay tuned!

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