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Natural gas powers over 60 percent of U.S. electric generating capacity in 2018

Staff Writer |
Natural gas fueled more than 60 percent of electric generating capacity installed last year in the United States, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

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According to EIA's report, 31.3 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity were added in the country in 2018, the largest addition since 48.8 GW were added in 2003.

In the 2018 addition, 62 percent consisted of natural gas, 21 percent consisted of wind, and 16 percent consisted of solar photovoltaic. The remaining additions came primarily from hydroelectric and battery storage capacity.

The report said that almost 90 percent of the 19.3 GW of the natural gas-fired capacity in the United States added in 2018 were combined-cycle generators, the most efficient natural gas-fired generating technology.

Meanwhile, 18.7 GW of generating capacity were retired in 2018. For the retired capacity, 69 percent consisted of coal, 25 percent consisted of natural gas, and 3 percent consisted of nuclear generators. The remainder was composed mostly of hydroelectric and petroleum generating capacity.

Most of the additions happened in the second half of the year, while the retirements occurred mostly in the first half, the report added.

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