Renewables Provide 100% New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity


Every time we report on the “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, there’s more good news about renewables — and solar. The latest report is no exception. It brings the news that all — yes, 100% — of new U.S. electrical generating capacity put into service in July came from renewable energy sources.

Of that, 21 MW was solar power, with 379 MW of wind and 5 MW of hydropower.

For the first seven months of 2014, renewables have accounted for more than half (53.8%) of the 4758 MW of new U.S. electrical capacity that has come online, with solar accounting for more than a quarter of the total at 25.8%.

Natural gas is still big in new energy, at 45.9%, but only a small fraction, 0.3%, came from oil and “other” combined. What’s really significant is that there has been no new electrical generating capacity from either coal or nuclear so far this year.

Renewable energy sources now account for 16.3% of total installed operating generating capacity in the nation. Solar is climbing up slowly but surely. It’s still at only 0.75% — which we see as a huge untapped market.

Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, noted in a press release how common it has become for this much new generating capacity to come from renewables. “This is not the first time in recent years that all new electrical generating capacity for a given month has come from renewable energy sources,” he said. “And it is likely to become an ever more frequent occurrence in the months and years ahead.”