EIA Predicts Renewables Will Comprise 22 Percent of Electricity Generation in 2022

In 2020 and 2021, 20% of U.S. electricity production was from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydropower and wind. U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that this share will increase to 22% by 2022 and 24% by 2023 as more wind and solar generating capacity comes online and other sources like coal and nuclear are retired.

EIA publishes shortterm forecasts on five renewable energy sources: conventional water, wind, solar and biomass. Their 2022 annual forecasts are based on their monthly survey data through May, and their forecasts for June through Dec.

Forecasts in EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook show how they expect 11 electricity markets in the United States will generate electricity. The two regions with the largest shares of renewable electricity generation during 2021 were the Northwest, where renewables accounted for half of the region’s electricity generation, and California, where renewables accounted for 44% of regional electricity generation. Both of these regions’ hydropower resources were constrained by droughts in 2021, but they still increased their renewable shares of electricity generation.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which is largely due to wind power, has seen the greatest growth in renewable electricity generation over the last decade. In 2013, 13% of the region’s electricity generation came from renewables. This share grew to 40% in 2021 and EIA expects it will rise to 44% by 2022.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (or ERCOT) has increased its renewable share from 10% in 2013 and 32% in 2022. ERCOT is the only region in the country where the renewable electricity share has increased from less than the U.S. Average to more than the U.S average between 2013 and present. Both ERCOT as well as SPP have significantly increased wind turbine generating capacity. Wind was the second-highest source for electricity generation in March 29th, when it was produced by wind turbines in ERCOT and SPP. Three regions along America’s East Coast have the lowest share of electricity generated by renewable sources: the PJM Interstate in the Mid-Atlantic (SERC Reliability Corp.), the Southeast (SERC Reliability Corp.), or the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council.

EIA expects that in each of these regions the renewable share of electricity production will remain below half of its national average through 2023. Most of the electricity generated in Florida and the Southeast comes from nuclear and natural gas. PJM’s primary sources of electricity are coal and natural gas.

Image: “Solar/sky” by Mountain/Ash is licensed under CC BY 2.0