Renewables on top
Renewables accounted for 96% of new US capacity in first two months of 2022
According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data newly released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower) provided 96.3% of the domestic electrical generating capacity added in January and February 2022.
According to the latest issue of FERC’s” Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through February 28, 2022), utility-scale (i.e., >1-MW) wind and solar facilities added 3,976 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity during the first two months of this year. New hydropower capacity accounted for another 3-MW. By comparison, natural gas grew by just 151-MW and there were no new capacity additions by any other energy sources.
Separately, in its latest “Electric Power Monthly”(also with data through February 28, 2022), EIA reports that solar-generated electricity (including small-scale solar) grew by 35.6% during the first two months of 2022 compared to the same period last year while wind expanded by 33.2%. Combined, electrical generation by wind and solar increased by more than a third (33.8%).
Including hydropower, biomass, and geothermal, renewably-generated electricity grew by 21.1% and provided 22.8% of U.S. electrical generation in January and February – up from 19.7% a year earlier. Wind alone provided over a tenth (10.7%) of the nation’s electrical output. Together, wind and solar generated nearly a seventh (14.1%) of the nation’s electricity.
Thus far in 2022, electrical generation by renewable sources has surpassed that of coal by 2.9%. Renewables also continue to widen their lead over nuclear power, exceeding the latter’s output by 23.0%.
Moreover, recent trends in growth by wind and solar seem poised to accelerate.
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