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Over 60 percent of new electrical generating capacity added this year is renewable energy

By District Energy posted 11-04-2020 19:59


Solar Building Magazine


Renewable energy sources have dominated new U.S. electrical generating capacity additions in the first eight months of 2020, according to a review of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the SUN DAY Campaign. We’re talking 63.3% or 10,445 MW of the 16,499 MW of new utility-scale capacity added during the first two-thirds of this year was solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower.

Drilling down further, all of the 2,781 MW of new generating capacity added this summer (i.e., June, July, August) was provided by solar (1,448 MW), wind (1,309 MW), and hydropower (24 MW). Renewable energy sources now account for 23.2% of the nation’s total available installed generating capacity and continue to expand their lead over coal (20.1%).

The generating capacity of just wind and solar is now at 13.3% of the nation’s total, and that does not include distributed (e.g., rooftop) solar.

FERC’s latest monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” report (with data through August 31, 2020) also reveals that natural gas accounted for 36.5% (6,029 MW) of the total, with very small contributions by coal (20 MW) and “other” sources (5 MW) providing the balance. There have been no new capacity additions by oil, nuclear power, or geothermal energy since the beginning of the year.