Sun Day: Renewable energy reigning champion in U.S.

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Rrenewable energy sources accounted for 49 percent of all new domestic electrical generating capacity for a total of 12,956 installed megawatts in 2012, according to the research from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

Contributing to the capacity was wind, leading the way with 164 new units totaling 10,689 MW, followed by solar with 240 units totaling 1,476 MW. Biomass contributed 100 new units totaling 543 MW while geothermal and hydro each added 13 new units with installed capacities of 149 MW and 99 MW, respectively.

More than one quarter of this new capacity came on-line in the December alone.

By comparison, new natural gas generation in service totaled 33 percent, followed by coal at 17 percent, nuclear at 0.47percent, and oil with 0.19 percent.

New capacity from renewable energy sources overall increased by 51 percent compared to when it accounted for 39 percent.

Based on this research, Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the Sun Day Campaign, comes to the following conclusion.

"If there were still any lingering doubts about the ability of renewable energy technologies to come on-line quickly and in amounts sufficient to displace fossil fuels and nuclear power, the 2012 numbers have put those doubts to rest," Bossong said. "Not only has renewable energy become a major player in the U.S. electrical generation market, but it has also emerged in 2012 as the reigning champion."

For more:
- see the report

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