With wind farm construction in a lull and so total new electric generation down in 2013, the new generation market is being dominated by solar and natural gas. Both are up sharply in 2013, compared to 2012, while all other forms of new capacity are down.
New utility-scale solar capacity through September 2013 totals 1,935 megawatts, compared to 1,091 megawatts in 2012. Those solar totals do not include substantial distributed solar built in 2013.
Indeed, the FERC data does not include more than 2,000 megawatts of distributed solar that has been already built in 2013. Adding that distributed solar capacity to the FERC data would materially change it.
Apart from solar, natural gas capacity is the only other that has increased in 2013, compared to 2012. Natural gas capacity built through September 2013 was 5,845 megawatts, compared to 5,043 megawatts in 2012 at the same point. More natural gas capacity has been added to the grid this year than any other type.
Yet, the fact that solar ranks second in total new capacity, even without counting the large amount of distributed solar capacity built this year, is another remarkable milestone for solar.