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US EIA forecasts 76% of new capacity in 2020 to come from wind, solar

The overwhelming majority of the 42 GW of new power generation expected to enter commercial operation in the U.S. in 2020 will come from wind and solar, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA estimates that wind and solar will account for 32 GW, or 76%, of its forecast 42 GW of new capacity, according to the agency's latest inventory of electric generators released Jan. 14.

An estimated 9.3 GW of natural gas-fired generation will be added in 2020, with more than 70% of that capacity coming from new builds in California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Texas. Gas-fired generation will comprise 22% of new capacity, in contrast with 44% from wind and 32% from solar.

The looming expiration of the production tax credit for wind generation is fueling the boom in project completions, with 18.5 GW of wind projects scheduled to go online in 2020, surpassing 2012's record of 13.2 GW. Of those 18.5 GW, 11.2 GW are expected to go online in November and December.

A majority of the capacity due online in 2020 comes from projects in five states: 32% of the new capacity is slated to come from facilities in Texas; 6% will come from projects in Oklahoma; and Colorado, Missouri and Wyoming will each provide 5% of the overall new capacity.

Meanwhile, 13.5 GW of new solar generation is expected online in 2020, breaking 2016's annual record of 8 GW, with a majority of new solar capacity coming from projects in four states. Texas projects will provide 22% of the new solar generation, while facilities in California will provide 15% of new capacity. Another 11% will come from projects in Florida and another 10% from projects in South Carolina.