Renewable energy is an increasingly important part of the US energy mix. Clean sources of power have been growing exponentially over the last several years and that growth continued in 2013. Several states are on the road to producing substantial portions of their energy from renewable sources. California, is expected to produce one third of its electricity from renewables by 2020, and Maine has committed to 40-percent renewable energy by 2017. Additionally, Federal agencies must source 20 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2020.
According to the “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, US renewables accounted for more than 37 percent of all new, domestic power generating capacity installed last year.
The two renewable energy leaders are solar and wind. In 2013 there were 266 new solar projects with a combined capacity of 2,936 MW and there were 18 new wind units with a combined capacity of 1,129 MW.
Biomass saw the installation of 97 new units with a combined capacity of 777 MW, while there were 19 hydroelectric power plants with a total capacity of 378 MW. Geothermal added four new units with a combined capacity of 59 MW.
It should be noted that capacity is not the same as actual generation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration indicates that the actual net electrical generation from renewable energy sources in the US is about 13 percent as of November 2013.
© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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