A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says this year should be a watershed for the ‘de-carbonization’ of the U.S. power sector.
Record amounts of coal-fired capacity are scheduled to be retired, with renewable energy sources and gas-fired plants taking up the slack. As a result, BNEF forecasts that CO2 emissions from the U.S. power sector should drop to their lowest level since 1994.
On the coal front, the U.S. is forecast to take 23 GW offline this year. According to the report, this represents about 7% of all current US coal capacity. Obsolescence, lower natural gas prices and new mercury emission standards from the Environmental Protection Agency are all cited as factors.
At the same time, the U.S. is expected to install 18 GW of new renewable capacity this year. BNEF forecasts new solar installations to reach an all-time annual high of 9.1 GW – with half of that built in California. New wind installations should total 8. 9GW – with a third of that coming in Texas.
To download the BNEF report, click here.