37% of America’s new energy capacity in 2013 came from renewables

31 January 2014

NEW YORK: Renewable energy accounted for more than 37% of America’s new energy generating capacity last year, which is triple the total from traditional fuels.

Renewable energy sources, including solar, wind energy, geothermal and hydropower, made up over 37% of all new domestic electricity generating capacity that was installed in 2013, according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Report from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.

Reaching a total of 5,279 megawatts, renewable energy that came online in 2013 was triple that of traditional fuel sources, and now accounts for just under 16% of America’s total installed operating generating capacity.

Solar power came out on top with 2,936 megawatts of new generating capacity, followed by wind with 1,129 megawatts. The new solar capacity in 2013 is almost 43% more than the same period in 2012.

As well as renewables growth, FERC’s data shows America is still increasing its fossil fuel use, with a 7,270 megawatt spike in new natural gas installed in 2013.

On Tuesday night, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address on Capitol Hill where he reemphasized his Climate Action Plan, which includes utilizing natural gas. He said: “The ‘all the above’ energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and…one of the reasons why is natural gas. If extracted safely, it's the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.”

Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, said: "The President's remarks point to the fact that natural gas will only get us so far in terms of the significant emissions cuts that need to occur in the coming years. The President's Climate Action Plan is an important start, but we also need to work towards long-term solutions that will lead to net zero emissions by 2050."

See the data from the FERC Office of Energy Projects.

Related news:

State of the Union underlines US Climate Action Plan

Obama State of the Union: "Our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet"

Obama orders US Government to almost triple renewable energy use to 20% by 2020

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