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Today in Energy

December 15, 2022

In the first half of 2022, 24% of U.S. electricity generation came from renewable sources

From December 15 to December 30, Today in Energy will feature some of our favorite articles from 2022. Today’s article was originally published on September 9.

U.S. electricity generation, first six months of the year
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, June 2022

In the first six months of 2022, 24% of U.S. utility-scale electricity generation came from renewable sources, based on data from our Electric Power Monthly. The renewables' share increased from 21% for the same time period last year. Renewables are the fastest-growing electricity generation source in the United States.

Renewable generation sources include conventional hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. In the United States, most renewable electricity generation comes from hydropower, solar, and wind. Generation from renewable energy sources has grown rapidly as renewable capacity, mostly solar and wind, has been added to the grid.

In 2021, a record amount of new utility-scale solar capacity was installed in the United States. From June 2021 to June 2022, 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale solar capacity came online, bringing U.S. utility-scale solar capacity to 65.8 GW, according to our Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. In June 2022, the United States had 137.6 GW of wind capacity, and 10% (14.3 GW) of that capacity was installed between June 2021 and June 2022. Based on planned additions reported to us by power plant owners and developers, another 7.0 GW of wind and 13.0 GW of solar capacity will come online by the end of the year.

Hydropower and wind generation, which, combined, make up the majority of U.S. renewable generation, typically peak in the first half of the year, when there are more windy days and the winter snowpack is melting. In the second half of 2022, we expect that renewables will make up a smaller share of generation than they did in the first half of the year (20%) as wind and hydroelectric generation decline, based on our latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Principal contributor: Elesia Fasching