Solar, wind, nuclear and grid batteries will account for nearly all power plant construction, with batteries beating gas for the first time.

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Canary Media’s chart of the week translates crucial data about the clean energy transition into a visual format.

Clean energy is crushing the competition to supply new power plants for the U.S. this year.

Fossil-fueled plants are expected to make up just 16 percent of new capacity additions completed in 2023, based on January data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Carbon-free power plants are on track to deliver 84 percent of new capacity — that includes solar, wind, nuclear and battery storage. That’s a larger share than last year, when clean power plants made up 78 percent of new capacity.

Renewables are still a relatively small share of the nation’s total electricity production. But this snapshot of the power industry in 2023 shows that they have already become the dominant choice for new power plants, seizing that mantle from fossil gas plants. It’s also a coup for battery storage, which went from extremely fringe just a few years ago to the second-place spot for new capacity coming online this year.

The star of the show is solar, which has risen from the margins of the industry to make up roughly half of the new planned capacity in 2023. Of course, solar plants don’t produce around the clock the way gas or nuclear can. That limitation is driving the surge in battery installations to store surplus solar production for use when it’s more valuable. (Batteries can also be charged from the grid, which may incur greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere, but they don’t burn fossil fuels onsite to operate.)...

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