Green energy companies came so close to reaching a significant milestone last year.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, 49.1 percent of all the new electrical power stations installed in 2012 relied on renewables. According to this article in Renewable Energy World, the total was 12,956 MW.
December was a big month. Over a quarter of that new capacity — 25.29 percent or – 3,276 MW — lit up during that time. Wind farms enjoyed a big year, too.
Wind led the way in 2012 with 164 new “units” totaling 10,689 MW followed by solar with 240 units totaling 1,476 MW. Biomass added 100 new units totaling 543 MW while geothermal steam and water each had 13 new units with installed capacities of 149 MW and 99 MW respectively.
Solar might get a boost this year. Cleantechnica is reporting that FERC just published reforms, that if approved, could fast track midsized solar projects.
Apart from natural gas, fossil fuel use showed signs of dropping.
By comparison, for the full 12 months of 2012, new natural gas generation in service totaled 8,746 MW (33.15%) followed by coal (4,510 MW – 17.09%), nuclear (125 MW – 0.47%), and oil (49 MW – 0.19%).
Image credit: Flickr user imotov – Creative Commons