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The Office of Energy Projects, part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has recently released a report which states that half of all new energy generation capacity installed in the US last year was in the form of renewable sources.
The 49.1 percent included biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro/tidal, and wind, and had a combined capacity of 12,956 megawatts. 3,276 megwatts, more than 25% was installed in the month of December alone, likely to take advantage of tax subsidy schemes that were due to come to an end at the end of the month.
Wind was the most popular renewable energy source in 2012 by far, accounting for 10,689MW; solar was next with a capacity of 1,476MW; 543MW of biomass capacity was installed;149MW of geothermal energy; and just 99MW of hydro/tidal energy generation.
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The other 50.9 percent of electricity generation capacity installed was made up of: 8,746MW of natural gas; 2,510MW of coal; 125MW of nuclear power; and 49MW of new oil capacity.
Renewable energy now contributes 15.4 percent of the US’S overall generating capacity, higher than the capacity of nuclear energy (9.24 percent) and oil (3.57 percent) combined.
Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUNDAY Campaign, remarked that, “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.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com