8.4 gigawatts of new power generation capacity came online in the fourth quarter of 2022. 60 percent of that total, or nearly six gigawatts, was new solar power. Wind power generation capacity grew steadily with 3.4 gigawatts, while developers only built 169 megawatts worth of gas-fired power plants.
In the chart below, we illustrate the past two years of new electric power capacity in the U.S., disaggregated by energy source on a quarterly basis.
- 3.5 gigawatts of new wind capacity (all onshore) came online in the fourth quarter.
- The fourth quarter of 2022 was the slowest quarter in two years for gas plant buildout.
- 61 percent of power generation capacity added to the grid this quarter was from solar: 3.8 gigawatts of utility-scale solar and just under 2 gigawatts of small solar.
- The growth of distributed solar, in particular, accelerated in each quarter of 2022, with the fourth quarter culminating in well over a gigawatt of residential solar alone.
- 1,976 megawatts sets a new quarterly record for small solar buildout.
- Developers built over a gigawatt of utility-scale energy storage this quarter, which paired with solar and wind, provides energy resilience and grid stabilization.
For more on the advancement of distributed, clean energy resources, see these recent ILSR resources:
- Interconnection and Grid Planning — Episode 179 of Local Energy Rules
- National Community Solar Programs Tracker
- Why is Connecting Clean Energy to the Grid So Hard?
- The 2023 Community Power Scorecard
- California’s Community Solar Program
- Who Needs Transmission Wires Anyway? — Episode 175 of Local Energy Rules
- Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best
Interested in earlier trends and analysis of new power plant capacity? Check out our archive, illustrating how electricity generation has changed in previous quarters and years.
Featured Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)