US renewable energy provided 100% of new power generation capacity

A new data analysis indicated that all new electrical generation capacity in April avoided fossil fuel.

US renewable energy in the form of wind, solar and hydropower represented 100 percent of the new generating capacity added in the country in April.

This, according to an analysis of data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

There was 1,328 MW of new US renewable energy capacity added to the country’s electrical production that month. This was data published in the FERC Energy Infrastructure Update report which contained data up to and including April 30, 2020. The report also showed that renewable sources of power including wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, biomass and others made up 56.3 percent – 5,113 MW – of the total 9,082 MW of capacity that was added during the first third of the year.

This included thirty-two new wind “units: (for a total of 3,104 MW), in addition to 110 new solar units (1,973 MW), six hydropower units (25 MW) and two biomass units (11 MW), though no new geothermal. The FERC report also showed that there were 21 new units of natural gas capacity added (3,964 MW), which made up the majority of the balance of the total for the first four months of 2020. That said, while there was clearly some additional capacity based on fossil fuels, there was no new capacity added in the form of oil, coal, or nuclear during that same span of time.

US renewable energy now makes up 22.87 percent of the total available installed generating capacity.

Renewable power continues to increase its lead over the coal capacity (20.32 percent). Wind and solar currently accounts for 12.87 percent of the total generating capacity in the United States. This doesn’t include the amount generated by distributed solar such as rooftop panels.

Comparatively, in 2015, a FERC report showed that all forms of installed US renewable energy generating capacity comprised 17.05 percent of the total in the country. Wind represented 5.74 percent (currently 9.08 percent) and solar represented only 1.05 percent US renewable energy - wind farm and solar farm(currently 3.79 percent). The last five decade has almost doubled wind’s share of the total generating capacity in the country and solar is over three times greater.

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