As per a new report by Climate Central, American states like Texas and Oklahoma are leading the path in generating renewable wind and solar energy. The report called as WeatherPower Year in Review: 2022, presents how the nation’s capacity to produce carbon-free energy from solar and wind increased last year to over 238 gigawatts i.e. up from around 13 gigawatts in 2021.
2022 saw the U.S. produce more than 683,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity & that too from solar and wind combined. That is an increase of 16% from last year. Texas is supposed to go past California in adding extra utility-scale solar to their own electric grid in May of this year. That will mean that California will lose its top spot in this field.
Beginning of 2023, California was leading Texas by about 1,000 megawatts. But, Texas is building solar capacity quicker than other states. It has 7.7 gigawatts of capacity additions planned for 2023 which will be more than California’s 4.2-gigawatt pipeline.
Leadership in Texas’ solar and renewables drive is supported by good old-fashioned energy economics, something Texans are very familiar with. Texas had more capacity for wind power in 2022 than others, with around 37,365 megawatts. Texas was followed by Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, and California, in the top 10 states with the most wind power capacity list. California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts rank as the top 10 states with highest solar power capacity.
The authors of the report concluded that the country’s capability to produce electricity from sources like sunlight and wind can grow swift enough to support Biden’s vision of net-zero carbon emissions targets by 2050. It also mentions that electricity capacity is well set for more rapid expansion as the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in August 2022.
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The overall solar market across the whole nation is predicted to add 29.1 gigawatts of new capacity in 2023. That will be more than doubling the record of 13.4 gigawatts installed in 2021 and a total of over half of new U.S. capacity in 2023, according to the EIA. The industry is recovering from a difficult 2022 run which was full of trade conflicts, labor ethics issues, and supply-chain challenges.
The report highlights the evident rise of solar and wind power in the U.S. and states like Texas and Oklahoma are leading the way. The nation’s ability to generate electricity from renewable sources is growing fast enough to fulfill the Biden administration’s emission targets by 2050. With the Inflation Reduction Act and other initiatives, electricity capacity is poised for rapid expansion in the coming years.