2016 will be a big year for renewable power implementation, says new data from the EIA showing that new utility-scale solar installations will account for the highest amount of installed capacity in the U.S. over the next year. The report, which is based on additions and retirements rather than projections, shows that 9.5 GW of solar energy will go online in 2016 – more than was added during 2013-2015 combined. If the additions go as planned, 2016 will be the first year with solar claiming the largest share of new generation capacity in U.S. history.
The report also shows natural gas coming in second at 8 GW of planned installations, with wind power trailing not far behind at 6.8 GW planned for 2016. This would be a drop for wind power against 2015, which saw 8.1 GW of installations, though it was the largest source of added capacity by far. The report also notes that nuclear energy is also set to see growth in 2016, with the first new reactor in 20 years scheduled to be brought online in June.