Solar and Battery Storage Continue Unabated Growth

According to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), developers and power plant owners plan to add 62.8 gigawatts (GW) of new utility-scale electric-generating capacity in 2024.

This addition would be 55 percent more added capacity than the 40.4 GW added in 2023 (the most since 2003) and points to a continued rise in industry activity. “We expect solar to account for the largest share of new capacity in 2024, at 58%, followed by battery storage, at 23%,” said the report.

Solar. The EIA expects a record addition of utility-scale solar in 2024 if the scheduled 36.4 GW are added to the grid. This growth would almost double last year’s 18.4 GW increase, which was itself a record for annual utility-scale solar installation in the United States. “As the effects of supply chain challenges and trade restrictions ease, solar continues to outpace capacity additions from other generating resources,” said the EIA. More than half of the new utility-scale solar capacity is planned for three states: Texas (35 percent), California (10 percent), and Florida (six percent).

Battery Storage. The EIA also expects battery storage to set a record for annual capacity additions in 2024. It expects U.S. battery storage capacity to almost double in 2024, as developers report plans to add 14.3 GW of battery storage to the existing 15.5 GW this year. In 2023, 6.4 GW of new battery storage capacity was added to the U.S. grid, a 70 percent annual increase. Texas, with an expected 6.4 GW, and California, with an expected 5.2 GW, will account for 82 percent of the new U.S. battery storage capacity.

With the rise of solar and wind capacity in the U.S., the demand for battery storage continues to increase, according to the EIA. “The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has also accelerated the development of energy storage by introducing investment tax credits (ITCs) for stand-alone storage,” said the report. “Prior to the IRA, batteries qualified for federal tax credits only if they were co-located with solar.”

Wind. Operators report that another 8.2 GW of wind capacity is scheduled to come on-line in 2024. Following the record additions of more than 14.0 GW in both 2020 and 2021, wind capacity additions have slowed in the last two years.

Natural gas. For 2024, developers report 2.5 GW in planned natural gas capacity additions, the least new natural gas capacity in 25 years.


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