In a first, US solar will generate more electricity than hydropower in 2024

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects annual solar generation to surpass annual hydropower generation in 2024 for the first time.

The EIA’s “Short-Term Energy Outlook,” released today, forecasts that the US will generate 14% more solar electricity than hydropower in 2024. That’s based on continued growth in new utility-scale and small-scale (e.g., rooftop) solar.

From 2009 to 2022, installed US solar capacity increased at an average rate of 44% annually, and installed US hydropower increased by less than 1% annually. In 2019, annual wind generation surpassed annual hydropower generation. The growth of US solar and wind are following a similar pattern, largely following an increase in installed capacity.

Incentives such as tax credits created by the Inflation Reduction Act have ramped up growth in renewable generation capacity. By August 2023, installed US solar capacity totaled more than 125 gigawatts (GW), including 80 GW of utility-scale solar and around 45 GW of small-scale solar. US hydropower has remained relatively steady at about 80 GW for the past few decades.

Weather patterns reduced US hydroelectric generation through August this year. Hydropower generation depends on seasonal hydrologic conditions and long-term weather trends. Although weather patterns also affect solar and wind, the most significant contributor to their additional generation is because they’ve had the fastest growth in generating capacity.

Read more: For the first time ever, the IEA predicts that global emissions will peak by 2025

Photo: Dominion Energy Virginia; Chart, EIA

To limit power outages and make your home more resilient, consider going solar with a battery storage system. In order to find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. They have hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and you share your phone number with them.

Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisers to help you every step of the way. Get started here. – ad*

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.



About Author

You may also like


Putin attempts to undermine oil price cap as global energy markets fracture

  • December 28, 2022
Russia’s announcement of an oil export ban on countries that abide by a G-7 price cap is the latest sign

European natural gas prices return to pre-Ukraine war levels

  • December 29, 2022
A worker walks past gas pipes that connect a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit ship with the main land in