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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just released the latest version of the “Energy Infrastructure Update” from its Energy Projects Office. The new report shows that a total of 433MW of new electricity generation capacity was installed in the US during the month of September, and the amazing thing is that all was in the form of solar or wind power projects.
The 5 wind projects with a capacity of 300MW, and 18 solar energy projects with a capacity of 133MW, mean that so far this year a total of 77 wind projects (4,055MW), and 154 Solar projects (936MW) have been installed. That is on top of 76 biomass projects (340MW), 7 geothermal plants (123MW), 10 water power projects (9MW), and just one waste heat project (3MW).
In comparison to these renewable energy installations, natural gas capacity grew by just 61 projects (4,587MW), and 3 coal projects were added (2,276MW).
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The amount of renewable energy capacity which came on line in 2012 marks a 29% increase from the year before, and brings the contribution of renewable sources to the US energy matrix to a total of 14.9%.
The EIA, however, warns that these figures in the FERC report are not entirely accurate as the “additions understate actual solar capacity gains. Unlike other energy sources, significant levels of solar capacity exist in smaller, non-utility-scale applications - e.g., rooftop solar photovoltaics.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com