The electricity generation mix in the U.S. continued to change in 2021. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, one major surprise was observed. The percentage of coal-fired generation increased for the first time since 2007.
The generation mix changes were largely driven by economics. According to the EIA, electric generators realized an average natural gas price greater than twice the price realized in 2020. The combination of increased renewables and high natural gas prices displaced natural gas-fired generation. Going forward, the EIA projects continued increases in renewable generation and declines in fossil fuel generation.
New renewable power plants are reducing U.S. electricity generation from natural gas
Solar power will account for nearly half of new U.S. electric generating capacity in 2022
Coal will account for 85% of U.S. electric generating capacity retirements in 2022