The U.S. installed a record amount of wind-generating capacity last year, adding nearly 17,000 megawatts of power on land, according to an Energy Department report being released Monday.
Wind energy’s share of total utility-scale generating capacity in the U.S. was only 11% in 2020, behind natural gas at 43% and nuclear and coal which both represented about 20%.
But wind is gaining: It accounted for 42% of all new capacity in 2020, which represented $24.6 billion in new wind power projects, according to the Energy Department study, which was conducted by the department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Solar was second, accounting for 38% of new capacity, followed by natural gas at about 20%. Overall, renewable energy comprised 80% of new capacity added last year. Utility scale measures energy that can be fed into a power grid.