According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission‘s Office of Energy Projects, solar, biomass, and wind “units” provided 694 MW of new power generating capacity last month or 99.3 percent of all new generation placed in-service (the balance of 5 MW was provided by oil.)
Twelve new solar units accounted for 504 MW or 72.1 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in October 2013 followed by four biomass units (124 MW – 17.7 percent) and two wind power units (66 MW – 9.4 percent).
For the first ten months of 2013, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) have accounted for nearly a third (32.8 percent) of all new electrical generating capacity.
That is more than that provided thus far this year by coal (1,543 MW – 12.5 percent), oil (36 MW – 0.3 percent), and nuclear power (0 MW – 0.0 percent) combined. Solar alone comprises 20.5 percent of new generating capacity (2,528 MW) thus far this year – more than doubling its 2012 total (1,257 MW). However, natural gas has dominated 2013 thus far with 6,625 MW of new capacity (53.7 percent).
For the first ten months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, new capacity from all sources has declined by 27.5 percent (from 17,008 MW to 12,327 MW).
Renewable sources now account for nearly 16 percent of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water – 8.30 percent, wind – 5.21 percent, biomass – 1.32 percent, solar – 0.59 percent, and geothermal steam – 0.33 percent. This is more than nuclear (9.22 percent) and oil (4.06 percent) combined.