GRA wrote:Both nameplate capacity and capacity factor are useful metrics, but only the former was being discussed in this report.
That's my point. It is very misleading to tell people that more renewables have ween installed from 2013 through 2017 because in fact the new fossil fuel generators will generate more electricity, so renewables are still actually falling behind.
That's only half the picture, since it only provides the capacity factors for renewables and nuclear. Here is the link for the capacity factors for fossil-fuel-powered generators: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_6_07_a
GRA wrote:U.S. wind capacity factor has been increasing pretty steadily for at least the past 5 years, from 32.4% in 2013 to 36.7% in 2017, and although some of that may be due to annual variation, the turbines have been getting more efficient right along.
That's good, but note that the capacity factors for combined-cycle natural gas turbines are higher and also improving (though there was a slight drop in 2016 and 2017). The numbers range from 48.2% in 2013 to 55.9% in 2015.
It's good to see renewables being built out at such a large scale, but, again, the EIA is misleading people by claiming that renewables have been beating out fossil fuels in the past five years. They have not.