Written By: Emma Websdale
Renewable energy, accounting for over 37% of the United States’ new energy-generating capacity, is identified as a leader in transforming the country’s energy systems, two new reports reveal.
According to the latest Energy Infrastructure Report, published by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources contributed more than 37% of all new domestic electricity-generation capacity in the United States in 2013.
Wind, geothermal, hydropower and solar energy sources together contributed 5,279 megawatts (MW) of new energy in 2013 – triple the figure reached by new traditional fuel sources. In total, renewable energy now accounts for over 15% of all installed operating generation capacity in the United States.
The highest single producer of new generating capacity in 2013 was solar, with 2,936 MW – almost a 43% increase compared to 2012’s new solar capacity. Ranking second was wind, with 1,129 MW.
In the 2014 installment of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, renewable energy was also identified as a key leader in the transformation of America’s energy systems. Produced for The Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the report said that the costs of renewable energy reached an all-time low, making clean technologies cheaper than fossil fuels in some parts of America.
Based on global trends in technologies and markets, the Factbook estimates that clean energy technologies, long-term, are positioned to win the energy race.
Since 2005, renewable energy, natural gas and improved energy efficiency have been the main factors in decreasing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. Currently, the country is more than halfway toward the goal of achieving a 17% reduction in greenhouse gases from 2005 levels by 2020.