Our annual report on electricity generation capacity in the United States breaks down the current and imminent generation of electricity by type of fuel, location, and ownership type. The report also looks at retirements and planned retirements and cancellations since 2014.
As of February 2022, America has more than 1.2 million megawatts of generation capacity. The largest fuel source for this capacity is natural gas (43.9%), followed by coal (18.5%). Wind, nuclear, and hydro together account for about 27% of capacity. Solar constitutes about 5% of all capacity, and has increased dramatically — with more than 25,000 MW gained since 2020, a 60% increase.
This report also analyzes prospective generation capacity in four categories — under construction, permitted, application pending, and proposed. Nearly 412,000 MW of new generation capacity is under development in the United States — a 10% increase over 2021. Solar is the top resource type under all four categories of development.
Natural gas, solar, and wind projects account for more than 99% of all capacity under construction. Solar was the leading source of new utility-scale capacity in 2021, the first time it has been the leading resource. The net gain of wind capacity compared with two years ago is almost 30,000 MW, which is a 29% increase.
Capacity additions (26,000 MW) represented more than three times the total capacity retired (8,700 MW) in 2021. More than 72% of the capacity retired in 2021 was coal-fired facilities, with more than 6,000 MW retired.