Renewable energy, including wind, solar, hydropower and biopower grew to 13 percent of all electric generation in the U.S. in 2013. That’s according to the the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) 2013 Renewable Energy Data Book, which was released yesterday (Jan. 20). The datebook looks at how all forms of renewable energy are being brought online.
NREL found that renewable electricity accounted for far more than half of all electric generation brought online in 2013 at 61 percent of all new generation capacity. It also produced 13 percent of the U.S.’s electric generation in 2013.
Still, the U.S. is behind the overall the world in terms of deploying renewable energy. The NREL report stated that 23 percent of all electricity generation in the world came from renewable energy in 2013. Perhaps that’s partly because the U.S. has not implemented a national renewable portfolio standard, which would require electric providers across the country to implement certain amounts of renewable energy generation on a set timeline.
Within the realm of renewable and clean energy solar power also saw significant gains. “In 2013 in the United States, solar electricity was the fastest growing electricity generation technology, with cumulative installed capacity increasing by nearly 66 percent from the previous year,” NREL said in the report.
Photovoltaic capacity increased to 12.0 gigawatts of electric generation in 2013—nearly 65 more solar than installed in the previous year when the U.S. had 7.3 gigawatts of solar installer. Concentrating solar power saw an even bigger jump as two giant CSP projects started coming online, going from 508 megawatts across the U.S. to more than 918 megawatts by year’s end, an increase in cumulative capacity of 81 percent, NREL said.