Wind, solar and biomass provide new US electrical generating capacity


According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Office of Energy Projects, 1,231 MW of new in-service electrical generating capacity came online in the U.S. in January – all from wind, solar and biomass.

This represents a nearly threefold increase in new renewable energy generating capacity compared with the same month in 2012 when wind, solar and biomass provided 431 MW of new capacity.

In January, wind accounted for the largest share of the new capacity with six new units’ providing 958 MW followed by 16 units of solar (267 MW) and six units of biomass (6 MW). No new generating capacity was reported for any fossil fuel or nuclear power sources.

Renewable sources account for 15.66 percent of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water, 8.5 percent; wind, 5.17 percent; biomass, 1.29 percent; solar, 0.38 percent; and geothermal, 0.32 percent.

By comparison, oil accounts for 3.54 percent of total operating generating capacity; nuclear for 9.23 percent; coal for 29.04 percent; and natural gas for 42.37 percent.

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