Renewable, Nuclear Power Projected to Rise in North America

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If the U.S. Clean Power Plan (CPP) survives in court, power produced with renewable and nuclear resources in North America will grow from 38 percent in 2015 to 45 percent in 2025, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The agency pointed to the recent agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to produce half of their power supplies from low-carbon resources by 2025.

The projection assumes implementation of the CPP, which was placed on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court, will begin in 2022.

“The extension of certain tax credits, significant cost reductions, and recognition of future CPP requirements result in a large increase in renewable generation between 2015 and 2025,” EIA said Tuesday.

During the same period, coal-fired generation will drop 13 percent while the share of power produced with natural gas rises 4 percent, EIA said.

Mexico accounted for 6 percent of total generation produced in North America in 2015. Canada accounted for 13 percent while U.S. generation represented 80 percent of all power produced in North America last year.

About 80 percent of Canada’s power already comes from low-carbon resources, primarily due to the nation’s vast supply of hydropower capacity. Canada will be adding more wind and solar capacity as it gradually phases out all coal-fired generation. However, the nation’s nuclear capacity is expected to decline with retirements and its use of gas-fired generation is expected to rise.

In Mexico, generation from renewable and nuclear resources is expected to rise from 21 percent in 2015 to 29 percent in 2025, driven primarily by the growth of wind, solar and hydropower capacity. 

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