Renewables Provide 100% of All New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity in November

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Solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, and hydropower provided 100% of all new electrical generation placed in-service in November 2013, according to FERC’s latest Energy Infrastructure Update report. In total, 394MW of renewable energy resources were added in November.

 

 

Solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, and hydropower provided 100% of all new electrical generation placed in-service in November 2013, according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In total, 394MW were added in November — while there was no new capacity during the month from natural gas, coal, oil, or nuclear power. Renewable energy sources provided 99% of all new electrical generating capacity in October.

For the first 11 months of this year, renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind) accounted for more than a third (34.9%) of all new electrical generating capacity. That is more than the energy provided thus far this year by coal (12.2%), oil (0.3%), and nuclear power (0.0%) combined.

Of all renewable sources, solar added the most new generating capacity thus far this year: 2,631MW (20.8%), two-thirds more than during the same period in 2012. However, natural gas has dominated 2013 thus far with 6,568MW of new capacity (52.0%).

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Renewables now account for 15.9% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity, which is more than nuclear (9.20%) and oil (4.05%) combined. Of the renewable sources, water contributes the most (8.42%). Solar added 0.61%.

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Seeming to contradict the growth rates reflected in the new FERC data, earlier this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the preliminary data for its forthcoming Annual Energy Outlook 2014 and projected that renewable sources would provide only a 16% of the nation’s electricity supply by 2040. EIA’s own data reveal that renewables were already providing 14.2% of the nation’s electrical generation as of June 30, 2013.

“FERC’s latest renewable energy capacity data, coupled with the actual electrical generation from renewable sources, reveal a growing disconnect with the longer-term projections being issued by EIA,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “With virtually all new electrical generation coming from renewables during the last two months, it is obvious that solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower are rapidly outpacing EIA’s unduly conservative forecasts.”