Renewable energy projects – including wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and water – accounted for 41.14% of new U.S. electrical generating capacity installed in October and represent 46.22% of the capacity added in the first 10 months of this year, finds the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) latest Energy Infrastructure Update.
In October, 10 new wind power projects totaling 594 MW came online, as well as 10 solar projects (59 MW), three biomass projects (69 MW) and one water power project (5 MW), according to the SUN DAY Campaign, a nonprofit research firm that promotes sustainable energy technologies.
In the first 10 months of the year, 92 wind energy projects totaling 5.403 GW have come online, as well as 167 solar projects (1.032 GW), 79 biomass projects (409 MW), seven geothermal projects (123 MW) and nine water power projects (12 MW), the report notes. Collectively, these total 6.979 GW, or 46.22%, of all new generating capacity added since the beginning of the year.
By comparison, new natural-gas additions since Jan. 1 totaled 67 projects (5.702 GW), or 37.8%, while three new coal projects added 2.276 GW (15.1%). Nuclear and oil represented just 0.8% and 0.1%, respectively, of new capacity additions.
The new renewable energy generating capacity added this year represents a 47.7% increase over the level recorded for the same period in 2011.