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2024 U.S. Clean Electricity Outlook

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2024 U.S. Clean Electricity Outlook for 2024

2024 U.S. Clean Electricity Outlook

This was originally posted on the Decarbonization Channel. Subscribe to the free mailing list to be the first to receive decarbonization-related visualizations with a focus on the U.S. power sector.

As the world seeks sustainable energy solutions, the U.S. has the opportunity to lead the charge in the global shift toward clean electricity.

But what kind of progress can the country expect in the upcoming year? 

To find out, we partnered with the National Public Utilities Council to visualize the projected 2024 electricity generation capacity of clean energy technologies in the U.S., using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Rise of Battery Storage and Solar Power

Looking ahead to 2024, U.S. generation capacity projections unveil a promising trajectory for battery storage and solar power. Battery storage is projected to grow by 82% compared to 2023 projections, while solar is projected to grow by 40%.

Growth is also expected for wind power, albeit at a slower rate (5%) due to higher costs and permitting challenges, especially for offshore projects.

Electricity Generation Capacity Projections20232024Change
Battery Storage17 GW31 GW+82%
Solar93 GW130 GW+40%
Wind149 GW156 GW+5%
Nuclear96 GW97 GW+1%
Geothermal3 GW3 GW0%
Hydro80 GW80 GW0%

As illustrated in the table above, the EIA projects a modest year for the rest of the major clean electricity sources in the nation, with nuclear expected to eke out a lackluster 1% growth, while hydro and geothermal remain unchanged. 

Overall, these projections underscore a diversification of the U.S. energy portfolio, with a pronounced emphasis on renewables and energy storage. The growth in battery storage capacity, specifically, underscores efforts to overcome the intermittency challenges of renewables, ultimately ensuring a reliable and emission-free power supply in the country.

The Broader U.S. Power Sector in 2024

Beyond capacity projections, let’s also take a look at some projected trends related to the broader U.S. power sector in 2024. 

  • U.S. daily electricity generation is projected to grow by 3% between 2023 and 2024, reflecting an increasing demand for power in the country. 
  • Renewables are set to claim an even larger slice of the U.S. electricity mix in 2024, rising from 22% in 2023 to 24%
  • Electricity production from coal is projected to decline by 9% as the country continues its move away from the emission-intensive energy source. 
  • Despite the country’s projected growth in clean electricity capacity, total U.S. energy-related emissions are projected to drop by 0.1% in 2024.

All in all, the 2024 landscape of the U.S. power sector signifies progress with increased renewables and heightened electricity generation. However, the marginal dip in emissions emphasizes the need to ramp-up country-wide efforts to meet the goal of a net-zero future.

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Visualized: Renewable Energy Capacity Through Time (2000–2023)

This streamgraph shows the growth in renewable energy capacity by country and region since 2000.

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The preview image for a streamgraph showing the change in renewable energy capacity over time by country and region.

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The following content is sponsored by National Public Utilities Council

Visualized: Renewable Energy Capacity Through Time (2000–2023)

Global renewable energy capacity has grown by 415% since 2000, or at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4%.

However, many large and wealthy regions, including the United States and Europe, maintain lower average annual renewable capacity growth.

This chart, created in partnership with the National Public Utilities Council, shows how each world region has contributed to the growth in renewable energy capacity since 2000, using the latest data release from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Renewable Energy Trends in Developed Economies

Between 2000 and 2023, global renewable capacity increased from 0.8 to 3.9 TW. This was led by China, which added 1.4 TW, more than Africa, Europe, and North America combined. Renewable energy here includes solar, wind, hydro (excluding pumped storage), bioenergy, geothermal, and marine energy.

During this period, capacity growth in the U.S. has been slightly faster than what’s been seen in Europe, but much slower than in China. However, U.S. renewable growth is expected to accelerate due to the recent implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Overall, Asia has shown the greatest regional growth, with China being the standout country in the continent.

Region2000–2023 Growth10-Year Growth (2013–2023)1-Year Growth (2022–2023)
Europe313%88%10%
China1,817%304%26%
United States322%126%9%
Canada57%25%2%

It’s worth noting that Canada has fared significantly worse than the rest of the developed world since 2000 when it comes to renewable capacity additions. Between 2000 and 2023, the country’s renewable capacity grew only by 57%.  

Trends in Developing Economies

Africa’s renewable capacity has grown by 184% since 2000 with a CAGR of 4%. 

India is now the most populous country on the planet, and its renewable capacity is also rapidly growing. From 2000–2023, it grew by 604%, or a CAGR of 8%.

It is worth remembering that energy capacity is not always equivalent to power generation. This is especially the case for intermittent sources of energy, such as solar and wind, which depend on natural phenomena.

Despite the widespread growth of renewable energy worldwide, IRENA emphasizes that global renewable generation capacity must triple from its 2023 levels by 2030 to meet the ambitious targets set by the Paris Agreement.

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