Soon renewable energy resources will dominate the US utility grid. As per the latest report by Energy Information Administration (EIA), 82% of the solar, wind, and other battery energy storage technologies are planned to come online this year. Solar and wind technology is quite new at the utility-scale. Their capacity additions to the utility grid did not even come online till 2010.
Moreover, in January 2023, 73.5GH of utility-scale was online, which accounts for about 6% of total US electricity production. In case all planned solar and wind projects came online. The year 2023 will become the year for the most capacity added for solar to the utility grid.
The inevitable energy transition from nonrenewable to renewables was only possible due to an unprecedented increase in investment. According to the Bloomberg NEF reports, in 2022, the total global investment in solar and wind technology was $226 billion. This is almost 11% more investment than it was in 2021.
In the same way, the need for battery storage energy technology is running rampant as grid companies call out to inculcate more solar and wind power into their system. The developers are planning to add approximately 8.6GW of battery energy storage to the grid, in 2023. This amount will almost double the total amount of battery storage capacity in just one year.
Furthermore, the capacity factor for solar and wind technology is lower as compared to more sophisticated renewable technologies like nuclear energy. That’s why solar and wind technology makes up almost 17% of US utility-scale capacity but the actual electrical production is just 12%.
In 2022, the total solar production in the US was 200,000 GWh, which was 25% more than the previous year. The total solar share in the US energy mix in 2022 was about 4.7% rather than 5%. This was due to solar panel import difficulty and impending inflation.
In January solar production was just about 3%, which skyrocketed to 6% in the month of April, breaking all previous records. Solar energy production reached its zenith in the month of July, bringing the total US solar production to about 4,303,980 GWh.
Lastly, renewable energy resources make up about 37.9% of the total US electricity production. This amount was about 37.7% in 2021, only a 0.2% increase. This is not a drastic increase, but it still shows that the country is back on track for its net zero emission target.