Proposals for New US Power Plants Jump 90% on Surging Demand

US electricity demand is expected to climb rapidly as data centers and electric vehicles proliferate.

Bloomberg News

April 12, 2024

1 Min Read
US power grid infrastructure
Image: Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- As utilities race to keep ahead of rising electricity demand, developers have proposed a surge of new power plants across the US – and very few of them would run on fossil fuels.

The generating capacity of proposed plants seeking to connect to the power grid jumped nearly 90% in the last three years, according to a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2023, the combined capacity of all those plants totaled almost 2,600 gigawatts. A single gigawatt of electricity can power 750,000 homes.

Solar power and large-scale batteries account for more than 80% of the proposed capacity, according to the study. In contrast, power plants that would burn natural gas or coal represent just 3%. 

Still, the study cautions that historically, less than 20% of projects that apply for a grid connection actually get built.

After remaining flat for years, US electricity demand is expected to climb rapidly as electric vehicles and data centers proliferate. A BofA Global Research report Wednesday forecast demand would grow 15% by 2030, or roughly 70 gigawatts. 

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