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Wind Generation Expected to Surpass Hydro

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Wind generation is expected to overtake hydropower as the largest renewable generation source in the near future, the Energy Information Administration predicted.

However, the administration indicated uncertainty about when that will happen, as hydro and wind are both dependent on the weather. For example, hydro generation was high in 2017 due to relatively large amounts of snow and rain, and accounted at 7.4 percent of total generation in the country.

Dryer times are expected to lower hydro generation to 6.5 percent in 2018 and 6.6 percent in 2019. Further, few hydro plants are expected to come online over the next two years.

By comparison, EAI expects 8.3 GW of new wind capacity to come online this year and 8.0 GW the next, adding nine percent to total wind capacity in 2017 and eight percent in 2019.

As a result, EIA currently forecasts wind to produce 6.4 percent of total electric generation in 2018 and 6.9 percent in 2019. 

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