EIA: Natural gas accounted for more than half of new capacity in 2013

More than half of new utility-scale generating capacity added in 2013 came from natural gas-fired power plants, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In total, 13,500-MW of new capacity was added in 2013, less than half the capacity added in 2012. Solar provided nearly 22 percent, coal provided 11 percent and wind nearly 8 percent, EIA said. Almost half of the total capacity added last year was located in California.

Natural gas capacity totaled 6,861-MW added in 2013, compared to 9,210-MW added in 2012. Nearly 60 percent of the natural gas capacity added last year was located in California.

Solar added 2,193-MW of capacity last year, continuing the trend of strong growth over the past few years. Nearly 75 percent of the capacity added was in California, followed by 10 percent in Arizona.

Two coal plants that came online in 2013 accounted for all of the 1,507-MW of capacity added in 2013, EIA said.

Wind capacity additions dropped in 2013 to 1,032-MW, less than one-tenth the amount added in 2012 (12,885-MW), which was expected due to the rush to complete wind energy projects in 2012 to qualify for the production tax credit. More than 90 percent of the wind capacity additions in 2013 were in five states: California, Kansas, Michigan, Texas and New York.

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