Barring any trend changes during the remaining months of 2012, the shareholder-owned electric utility industry likely will end the year with an historically high level of announcements of natural gas-fired generation. New capacity additions are slowing down, but the large number of wind projects under construction and expected to come online this year points to robust capacity additions even if only a fraction of those projects meets the 2012 deadline.
Natural gas and wind continue to be the greatest contributors to new capacity, responsible for about a third each (though they appear to be lagging a little compared to 2011). Despite a healthy amount of projects under construction and in advanced stages of development (between 7,000 and 8,000 megawatts—MW), natural gas additions look to be about 25 percent less than in 2011. Wind, on the other hand, could benefit from a large amount of projects under construction that are expected to come online in 2012. If all these projects meet their online target date, wind could add between 10,000 and 12,000 MW to the grid, marking a new record.