In the power sector, utilities are shifting to clean energy because the economic case is so compelling, and the trends are clear:
Over the last five years in the US, the fossil fuel industry has retired more electricity generating capacity than they’ve added—which means they’re closing more power plants than they’re opening. This has resulted in a removal of about 20 gigawatts worth of electricity from fossil fuel sources (that’s about 2% of our total
capacity here in the U.S.), while wind and solar energy have added a combined 47 gigawatts over the same time period (that’s about 5% of our total installed capacity).
This trend holds true over the past decade as well. Since 2006, clean energy has dominated net capacity additions to the national electric grid, with an 81% share of additions versus only 19% from fossil fuels.
The growth of wind and solar has not been linear—it’s been exponential. Both of these technologies have undergone massive levels of innovation that continue to drive costs down at dramatic rates. The power industry is changing in big ways as we become less and less dependent on fossil fuels and embrace the advantages of solar energy and wind power.
U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Annual 2006-2015
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, U.S. Wind and Solar Generation Capacity