Curtis Tate Published

Wind And Solar Set To Overtake Coal Next Year, Government Predicts

Solar panels arranged in a green field under overcast skies.
Toyota's solar array in Putnam county is the largest in the state, but that could change.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A big shift is coming in how the country gets its electricity, according to a prediction from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Wind and solar together are poised to overtake coal next year in generating U.S. electricity.

That’s a prediction made this month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Renewables, including hydro, geothermal and biomass, overtook coal for the first time in 2022.

The federal agency forecasts a rapid expansion of solar in 2024, amounting to 37 gigawatts. 

Coal this year fell below 20 percent of the nation’s electricity mix for the first time, ending 2023 at 17 percent. Next year, the federal agency forecasts it will fall to 15 percent.

Natural gas will continue to be the nation’s dominant fuel for electricity, at 42 percent.