Solar and Wind Energy Provide 100% New US Electrical Capacity in September
According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, 433 MW of new electrical generating capacity was added in the U.S. in September — all from solar and wind sources. The total consisted of five wind projects totaling 300 MW and 18 solar projects totaling 133 MW.
For the first nine months of 2012, 77 wind projects (4,055 MW), 154 solar projects (936 MW), 76 biomass projects (340 MW), seven geothermal projects (123 MW), 10 water power projects (9 MW), and one waste heat project (3 MW) have come on-line. Collectively, these total 43.8% of all new generating capacity added since the beginning of 2012. By comparison, new natural gas capacity additions since January 1, 2012 totaled 61 projects (4,587 MW) or 36.8% while three new coal projects added 2,276 MW (18.3%). Nuclear and oil represented just 1% and 0.1% of new capacity additions respectively.
The new renewable energy generating capacity added in 2012 represents a 29% increase over the level recorded for the same period in 2011. Renewable energy sources now account for 14.9% of all installed U.S. electrical generating capacity.