Electricity generated by non-fossil fuels is expected to increase substantially over the next two decades. But how much it will jump hinges significantly on the implementation of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan-- and which presidential candidate is in the Oval Office next January.
Some 27 U.S. states are trying to block the federal Clean Power Plan (CPP), which limits fossil fuel use, the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The case is being deliberated in an appeals court and may not be decided until next year, after Obama leaves office.
The EIA projects that with the CPP in place, power generation from renewables would increase by 99 percent in 2030 and by 152 percent in 2040, surpassing coal generation by 2028. If the CPP is struck down, renewable generation won't overtake coal-fired generation before 2040.