New Power Generation Quarterly: 2023 Q1

Date: 28 Jun 2023 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Eight gigawatts of new power generation capacity came online in the first quarter of 2023. For the third quarter in a row, over half of new generation was solar power (4.5 gigawatts). This was the strongest ever first quarter for the solar industry. Wind farm development slowed from the previous quarter, while fossil gas bounced back from its slowest quarter in two years.

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.

Key takeaways:

  • Distributed solar buildout continues to show steady acceleration – and the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act have yet to kick in.
  • Utility-scale solar development in the first quarter of 2023 matched the growth rates seen in 2022. Considering how solar development peaks at the end of the year, this was the strongest first quarter yet for the solar industry overall (big and small solar).
  • Wind power development was relatively slow in the first quarter of 2023, with only 1.5 gigawatts of new utility-scale wind farms. All of this new wind generation capacity is onshore.
  • After their very meager end to 2022, fossil gas plants had a resurgence in the first quarter of 2023.
  • 400 megawatts of utility-scale storage came online in the first quarter of 2023.

For more on the advancement of clean, distributed energy, see these recent ILSR resources:

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.

This article originally posted at For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.

Featured Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Maria McCoy

Maria McCoy is a Researcher with the Energy Democracy Initiative. In this role, she contributes to blog posts, podcasts, video content, and interactive features.