Green Power Revolution: USA Set for Renewable Energy Boom by 2024

"Renewable Energy Revolution: United States Set to Add Over 67 GW Capacity by 2024, Led by Solar Power Boom"

The United States is on the brink of a significant surge in renewable energy capacity, with projections indicating an increase of over 67 gigawatts (GW) by 2024. This growth is being primarily fueled by a combination of policy shifts and economic factors, as highlighted by an analysis from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Solar energy is expected to take the lead in this expansion, with a staggering 56 GW of capacity set to come online. This uptick in renewable energy capacity signifies a broader shift towards cleaner energy sources and represents a pivotal moment in America’s ongoing energy transition.

The renewable energy landscape in the US is set to witness substantial changes, with around 11 GW of wind generation and 21 GW of energy storage also projected to be added to the grid by 2024. Despite natural gas being considered a transitional fuel, the analysis reveals a modest net gain of only 394 megawatts (MW) of natural gas capacity in 2024. This increase is overshadowed by the planned retirements of 4,028 MW of natural gas capacity. The sole new nuclear capacity addition is the 1,114-MW unit 4 at the Vogtle Nuclear Plant in Georgia. However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecasted that nuclear power will reach an all-time high in 2025, with industry experts anticipating a surge in nuclear energy production this year.

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently emphasized the potential of wind and solar energy to surpass coal generation for the first time in US history. The momentum towards cleaner energy sources is expected to continue, with a goal of achieving 80% clean energy on the path to 100% clean electricity by 2035. In 2024, approximately 5 GW of fossil-fired capacity is set to retire, with over half of this coming from gas-fired and coal-fired resources. The challenges and opportunities presented by the energy transition are becoming increasingly evident, particularly within grid operator PJM Interconnection LLC, where a surge in renewables has raised concerns about reliability risks.

Solar energy is emerging as a dominant force in the US energy landscape, with 56 GW of solar capacity expected to be added this year. Within the PJM Interconnection region alone, approximately 9 GW of solar capacity is anticipated. PJM is planning for around 10 GW of new capacity additions in 2024, with minimal retirements expected from wind generation. Cargill Inc., a prominent player in the food industry, has expanded its renewable energy portfolio by securing an additional 300 MW of wind and solar capacity. This brings Cargill’s offsite renewable energy portfolio to a total of 716 MW, with the company entering into several power purchase agreements to support these new renewable energy projects.

The specific locations of Cargill’s new generating resources have not been disclosed, but once operational, they are expected to help the company reduce its carbon emissions by nearly 820,000 metric tons per year. Cargill’s global renewable energy portfolio spans 15 projects across 12 countries, including virtual power purchase agreements with various entities for renewable energy generation. The company’s commitment to sustainability through renewable energy investments underscores a growing trend towards cleaner energy solutions in the corporate sector.

Regional insights into renewable energy expansion reveal significant developments across various grid regions in the US. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. (ERCOT) is expected to add over 27 GW of new resources in 2024, including a substantial 16 GW of solar capacity. California ISO is set to incorporate over 12 GW of capacity, with a significant portion coming from solar and energy storage projects. The Midcontinent ISO (MISO) region is projected to see over 12 GW of capacity additions, while ISO New England and the New York ISO region are also slated for capacity increases.

In the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) region, approximately 2 GW of renewable capacity additions are anticipated, alongside 788 MW of natural gas additions. Outside of formal ISO or RTO regions, a forecast predicts around 25 GW of capacity additions, with a mix of solar, wind, energy storage, and gas projects. As the US continues its transition towards a more sustainable energy future, the significant uptick in renewable energy capacity in 2024 underscores the nation’s commitment to combatting climate change and embracing clean energy solutions.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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