Thursday, 07 March 2013 17:20

New Electric Capacity in U.S. Comes From 100% Renewable Energy

One hundred percent of new electric capacity added in the beginning of the year was renewable, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

A breakdown of new generating capacity added in January 2013 showed that all energy came from wind, biomass, or solar sources. By comparison, in January of 2012, only 25% of new capacity came from renewable sources.

Wind was in the lead, with 77.8% of new power generated, followed by solar at 21.7% and biomass at 0.5%. A year before, 47.7% of new capacity came from coal and 26.3% from natural gas.

According to FERC, almost half of all new electricity generating capacity added in the U.S. in 2012 was renewable. And the amount of wind and solar addeed in January exceeded the amount of coal and natural gas added a year ago. View the complete breakdown of fuel sources at Grist.

Renewable sources still rank behind fossil fuels in total installed operating generating capacity, however. According to FERC, natural gas-fired sources provide 42% percent and coal provides 29% percent of total installed capacity. Wind power produces 5% percent of the total, while solar power provides just 0.38% percent and biomass-fired sources produce 1.29% percent of total installed capacity.

See the full dataset from FERC (PDF).

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