Renewable energy sources accounted for 30.03% of all new U.S. electrical generating capacity installed in the first nine months of this year, totaling 3,218 MW, according to a new report from the SUN DAY Campaign.
Citing the latest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Energy Infrastructure Update, the nonprofit group says renewables provided more new generation thus far this year than did coal (1,543 MW – 14.40%), oil (27 MW – 0.25%) and nuclear power (0 MW – 0.00%) combined. However, the report says natural gas dominated the first three quarters, with 5,854 MW of new capacity (54.62%).
Among renewable energy sources, solar led the way for the first nine months of 2013, with 146 new ‘units’ totaling 1,935 MW, followed by wind power with nine units totaling 961 MW. Biomass added 57 new units totaling 192 MW, while hydro had 11 new units with an installed capacity of 116 MW and geothermal steam had one new unit (14 MW).
According to the report, the newly installed capacity being provided by the solar units is second only to that of natural gas. The new solar capacity in 2013 is 77.36% higher than that for the same period in 2012.
Renewable sources now account for 15.68% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity:Â hydro – 8.32%, wind – 5.18%, biomass – 1.31%, solar – 0.54%, and geothermal steam – 0.33%. This is more than nuclear (9.19%) and oil (4.06%) combined, the report says.