20 February 2017 2017 03:45 PM GMT

Renewables Provide 23% Of US Electrical Generation, As Wind, Solar Grow Rapidly

According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly” report (with data through December 31, 2016), renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) continued their rapid growth and accounted for 15.34% of domestic electrical generation in 2016 — compared to 13.65% in 2015. Moreover, the growth in renewables once again handily surpassed EIA’s earlier forecasts for the sector.

In its “Short-Term Energy Outlook” (STEO) released on January 12, 2016, EIA said it “expect[ed] total renewables used in the electric power sector to increase by 9.5% in 2016.” In fact, in 2016, electrical output by renewables (including hydropower) increased by 12.56% while non-hydro renewables grew by 17.26%. EIA also forecast wind capacity “to increase by 14% in 2016.” In actuality, generation expanded by 18.75 % and provided 5.53% of domestic electrical output last year. Similarly, EIA “forecast hydropower generation in the electric power sector [to] increase by 4.8% in 2016.” In reality, hydro’s electrical production rose by 6.72%.

EIA’s January 2016 STEO did not offer a projection for solar in 2016 but its December 2015 STEO forecast “utility-scale solar power [to] average 0.8% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2016.” Utility-scale solar generation in 2016 actually exceeded 0.90% while utility-scale and distributed solar combined accounted for 1.37% of total electrical output. In fact, electrical output by utility-scale plus distributed solar grew by 44.04% in 2016 compared to 2015.

By comparison, electrical generation by coal dropped by 8.30% and that from petroleum liquids & coke plummeted by 15.37%. (Solar-generated electricity is now more than double that from petroleum sources.) Electrical output attributable to natural gas and other gases increased by just 3.47% while growth in the nuclear power sector was an anaemic 1.02%.

Beyond the growth experienced by solar, wind, and hydropower, geothermal also charted a 9.41% expansion in 2016. Among renewable sources, only wood and other forms of biomass experienced a decline last year – down by 1.67%.

Taken together, non-hydro renewables (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) accounted for 8.85% of electrical generation in 2016. Nonetheless, in its latest STEO (issued February 7, 2017), EIA inexplicably states: “Non-hydropower renewables are forecast to provide 9% of electricity generation in 2017.” That is, EIA apparently anticipates no significant increase by non-hydro renewables in 2017 notwithstanding the sustained strong growth by these technologies in 2016 and during the several years prior.

“Given the trends of recent years, it is probably no great surprise that solar, wind, and other renewable sources once again surpassed EIA’s expectations,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Yet, EIA continues to low-ball its latest forecasts for renewables thereby doing a serious disservice to the cross-section of rapidly growing clean energy technologies.”

September 20th 2018
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

January 10th 2018
US: Doubling Of Wind & Solar Capacity Possible By 2020 as Coal & Nuclear Drop

In the latest issue of its “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through November 30, 2017), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes that proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar could total 115,984 megawatts (MW) by December 2020 – effectively doubling their current installed capacity of 115,520 MW.  The numbers were released as FERC prepares for a January 10 meeting to consider U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for a bailout of the coal and nuclear industries.

September 29th 2018
IRENA: Innovation Front and Centre, As Leaders Shape the Future Energy System

Participants from more than 80 countries explored the disruptive innovations in digitalisation and decentralisation that are transforming energy systems around the world. Remarkable cost reductions driven by technological innovation and an increasingly conducive policy environment have made renewable energy increasingly competitive with conventional fuels in many parts of the world. In parallel, innovations such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, smart charging of electric vehicles, and hydrogen power and storage are making energy systems increasingly integrated and flexible and are supporting the transition to a renewable-powered future.

December 6th 2017
Renewables Provide 17.8% Of Total US Electricity. Solar Now 2.0% And Wind 6.0%

According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly” report, U.S. electrical generation from renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar – inc. distributed solar, wind) rose by 14.69% during the first three-quarters of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Simultaneously, electrical generation by fossil fuels and nuclear power combined declined by 5.41%. Nuclear power and coal both dropped by 1.5%, natural gas (including “other” gas) was down by 10.7%, and oil (i.e., petroleum liquids and petroleum coke) plunged by 17.1%.

September 26th 2018
UK Wind Generation Capacity Smashes Through 20 Gigawatt Mark

RenewableUK has announced that the UK has hit a historic milestone of 20GW (20,000MW) of wind generation capacity. The opening of Ørsted’s 659MW Walney Extension off the coast of Cumbria this month pushed the total over the 20GW mark. Commenting on the announcement, RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said: “It took 19 years to install the first 5GW of wind energy in the UK and we’ve now installed the same amount in under two years. That phenomenal growth shows just how quickly the UK is moving to a smart, low carbon power system and wind energy is at the heart of that.  

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