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January 27 2014

20:03

Renewables Account for 37 Percent of All New Electrical Generating Capacity in 2013

New electrical generating capacity in 2013

According to the just-released Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Office of Energy Projects, 37 percent of all new U.S. electrical generation deployed in 2013 came from renewable sources.

New electrical capacity provides clean power and jobs for AmericansEnergy sources including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind provided 5,279 megawatts (MW) of new installed electrical capacity in 2013, contrasting with coal, which ramped up only 1,543 MW, or just under 11 percent of total new generation. Oil produced 38 MW of new capacity or just 0.27 percent. Nuclear had no new capacity come online in 2013. Renewable sources of energy coming online in 2013 were three times that of coal, oil and nuclear combined.

Not surprisingly, natural gas provided most new electrical capacity, putting online 7,270 MW in 2013, or a bit more than 51 percent. The balance of new electrical capacity came from waste heat, providing  76 MW or 0.53 percent.

Solar leads renewables

Solar power led the pack among renewables, bringing online 266 new generating “units” for 2,936 MW of capacity. Wind followed with  1,129 MW of new generating capacity from 18 units. Behind solar and wind came 97 new biomass units generating 77 MW, hydro with 378 MW from 19 unites and geothermal with 4 new units producing 59 MW of new electrical generation.

New solar capacity last year grew 42.80 percent over the same period in 2012. In the two-year period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013 renewable sources of energy provided 47.38 percent of new  of electrical generating capacity, for a total of 20,809 MW placed into service.

Renewable energy totals for U.S. electrical generation

As a whole, renewable energy sources account for 15.97 percent of total generating capacity* in the United States. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Hydro: 8.44 percent
  • Wind: 5.2 percent
  • Biomass: 1.36 percent
  • Solar: 0.64 percent
  • Geothermal: 0.33 percent

The total from renewable sources is now greater the nuclear and oil combined.

Renewable energy continues to expand in the US, providing more clean energy and jobs – a win-win for the environment and the economy

——————–

* Generating capacity is not the same as actual generation. Actual net electrical generation from renewable energy sources in the United States now totals about 13 percent according to the most recent data (i.e., as of November 2013) provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Thanks to the SUN DAY Campaign:  a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1993 to promote sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.

Image credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory, courtesy flickr

 

The post Renewables Account for 37 Percent of All New Electrical Generating Capacity in 2013 appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

August 30 2012

20:54

Electrical Generation Capacity from Renewable Sources Surges Under Obama


Electrical generating capacity and net output has grown significantly under the Obama administrationElectrical generation from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal has grown dramatically under the Obama administration says Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign.

Bossong cites two new government studies that show a near doubling of non-hydro renewable energy sources contributing to U.S. electrical generation since president Obama took office.

The latest issue of the Electric Power Monthly from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) analyzes data through June 2012. The report shows that from January 1 to June 30, 2012 non-hydro renewable energy sources (geothermal, biomass, solar, and wind) provided 5.76 percent of net electrical generation, an increase of 10.97 percent for the same period last year. Utility scale solar increased 97.2 percent from one year ago, wind generation grew 16.3 percent and geothermal by 0.2 percent. Biomass declined by 0.8 percent.

For the first half of 2012, wind contributed 3.84 percent of net electrical generation with biomass following at 1.4 percent, geothermal at 0.45 percent and finally solar with 0.09 percent – noting that this figure does not take into account the significant growth in small solar systems such as rooftop PV solar and other non-utility-scale solar projects. Another 7.86 percent of net generation came from conventional hydropower, which declined 14.3 percent from the same period in 2011.

During the last full year of the Bush administration, non-hydro renewable energy sources contributed 3.06 percent to net electrical generation, averaging 10,508 gigawatt-hours of output per month. Since then average monthly electrical generation has grown 78.70 percent from non-renewable sources with an output of 18,777 gigawatt-hours as of mid-2012. Electrical output from solar has grown by 285.19 percent in the period from 2008 to mid-2012, wind by 171.72 percent, and geothermal by 13.53 percent. Biomass has dropped by 0.56 percent.

The second government study come from the Energy Infrastructure Update from the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). According to the latest data 38 percent of all new electrical generating capacity for the first half of 2012 came from 229 renewable energy projects (“capacity” does not mean actual generation). Fifty new wind projects accounted for 2,367 Megawatts (MW)  of capacity, solar has 111 projects for 588 MW, 59 biomass projects contribute 271 MW, 5 geothermal projects for 87 MW, and finally 4 water power projects at 11MW.

Electrical generating capacity from new renewable sources were more than double than new capacity from coal, with only 2 new coal projects coming online,  contributing 1,608 MW of capacity. Renewable energy sources now contribute 14.76 percent of total installed generating capacity in the United States:

  • Hydro: 8.66%
  • Wind: 4.30%
  • Biomass: 1.23%
  • Geothermal: 0.31%
  • Solar: 0.26% (again, this figure accounts only for utility-scale projects, not the significant contribution from smaller PV solar systems)

Overall, natural gas leads with 41.83 percent and coal with 29.66 percent of total installed capacity. Nuclear power stands steady at 9.16 percent with the final 0.07 percent coming from waste heat.

“The numbers speak for themselves – notwithstanding politically-inspired criticism, the pro-renewable energy policies pioneered by the Obama Administration have proven their worth through dramatic growth rates during the past three and one-half years,” said Bossong. “The investments in sustainable energy made by the federal government as well as individual states and private funders have paid off handsomely underscoring the short-sightedness of proposals to slash or discontinue such support.”

 

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