Fed Report Says Solar Leads All New U.S. Capacity Except Gas


The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of Energy Projects reports new natural gas dominated the first three quarters of the year with 5.85 GW, representing 54.6% of new capacity. However, renewable energy sources accounted for 30% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity over the same period.

Among renewable energy sources, solar led the way for the first nine months of the year with 1.94 GW of added capacity. In calling attention to the new report, the Sun Day Campaign, a renewable energy advocacy group, points out that new solar capacity is 77.4% higher than that for the same period in 2012.

New wind capacity accounted for 961 MW, followed by biomass with 192 MW, hydropower with 116 MW, and geothermal steam with 14 MW.

The renewables tally, totaling 3.22 GW, is more than that provided thus far this year by the 1.54 GW provided by coal. There was only 27 MW of oil-fired capacity added, and no new nuclear power.

Renewable sources now account for 15.7% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity – more than nuclear (9.2%) and oil (4.1%) combined.

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