The solar sector will most likely add more new electricity-generating capacity than any other
According to the data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), it is estimated that 2016 will be the first year in which utility-scale solar additions will exceed additions from any other single energy source. Natural gas and wind energy follow close behind, and the three of them combined will make up for 93% of total additions (natural gas had been the leader for the past 20 year).
Planned installations for 2016 include 9.5 GW of solar, 8 GW of natural gas and 6.8 GW of wind. It is worth mentioning that the solar installations concern only large or utility-scale solar arrays and farms, not taking into account the fast-growing rooftop solar industry (The Solar Energy Industries Association expects to see an additional 4 GW of residential and commercial solar additions).
The growth of the solar sector is pretty impressive, as additions for 2015 were 3.1 GW, and the estimate for this year exceeds even the combined additions of the past three years (9.4 GW for 2013-2015). Wind energy will put slightly less new energy in the grid than it did last year, whereas natural gas is expected to remain on the same levels.