Renewables account for over half of new US electricity capacity in first half of 2014

Renewable energy sources, namely solar and wind, have provided more than half of all new electricity generating capacity in the US in the first half 2014, a new report has found.

An update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects has founds that 55.7 per cent of the 3,529 MW of the US power generation capacity added in the six months to June 2014 came from solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, or hydropower.

Solar, at 32.1 per cent, accounted for nearly a third of the 1,965MW of added generating capacity in this period, while wind provided 19.8 per cent; followed by biomass at 2.5 per cent, geothermal at 0.9 per cent, and hydropower at 0.5 per cent.

The remainder of new power generation came from natural gas (44.1%), with no new coal or nuclear projects recorded.

The “Energy Infrastructure Update” also noted that over the past 30 months in the US, renewable energy sources had accounted for almost half (48 per cent) of new generating capacity.

If 2011 was factored in, then renewables would have accounted for around 45 per cent of all new electricity generating capacity over the past three and a half years.

Since the beginning of 2011, renewables have provided more new power generating capacity than natural gas, and nearly four times that of coal.

In total, renewable energy sources now account for around 16 per cent of total installed US generating capacity, including water (8.57 per cent), wind (5.26 per cent), biomass (1.37 per cent), solar (0.75 per cent), and geothermal steam (0.33 per cent).

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson