The Energy Information Agency (EIA) recently estimated that renewables used in the U.S. electric power sector will increase by 9.5% in 2016. EIA also forecast that hydropower generation in the electric power sector will increase by 4.8% in 2016.
EIA expects continued growth in utility-scale solar power generation, which is projected to average 129 gigawatt-hours per day in 2017, an increase of 45% from 2016. Utility-scale solar power could average 1.1% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2017, the agency estimated. EIA also expects utility-scale solar capacity will have increased by 126% (13 GW) between the end of 2014 and the end of 2016, with 4.9 GW of new capacity being built in California. Other states leading in utility-scale solar capacity additions include North Carolina and Nevada, which, combined with California, account for about two-thirds of the projected utility-scale capacity additions for 2015 and 2016. Wind capacity, which starts from a significantly larger installed capacity base than solar, grew by 13% in 2015, and forecast to increase by 14% in 2016 and by 3% in 2017. See the EIA report.