Renewable electricity generation expected to grow 9% in 2016

In 2016 utility-scale renewables (wind at 5.2%, solar at 0.8%) will account for 14% of total electricity generated in USA

Electricity generated from utility-scale renewable plants is expected to grow by 9 per cent in 2016, based on projections in the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

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Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook, January 2016
 Much of the growth comes from new installations of wind and solar plants and increases in hydroelectric generation after a relatively dry 2015.

In 2016, electricity from utility-scale renewable sources is expected to account for 14 per cent of the total electricity generated in the United States, with wind and solar contributing 5.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.

Increases in renewable capacity and generation are influenced by federal, state, and local policies. Extension of federal tax credits as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed at the end of 2015 is expected to have little effect on renewable capacity additions in 2016 because most utility-scale plants that will enter service in 2016 are already being developed, including several wind and solar projects.

EIA’s Electric Power Monthly, based on data reported on EIA’s Annual Electric Generator Report (EIA-860) about planned capacity additions, shows that wind and solar plants make up two-thirds of all capacity additions planned for 2016.

Changes in electricity generation from other renewable fuels in 2016 are expected to be flat (in the case of biomass) or relatively modest (4 per cent increase in geothermal).

Electricity generation from hydropower facilities is expected to increase 5 per cent in 2016 based on expectations of high precipitation during El Niño, with water levels recovering from the relatively dry years in recent history.