Renewable energy sources are still playing catch up when it comes to their percentage of the nation's installed electricity capacity, but 2013 was a crucial year for their rise.
Renewable energy—solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower—accounted for more than 37 percent of all new, domestic power generating capacity installed last year, according to the "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects. That percentage represents a total of 5,279 megawatts (MW).
That figure is more than triple the combined amount of new coal (1,543 MW—10.86 percent), oil (38 MW—0.27 percent) and nuclear generation combined (0 MW). , and nuclear power - 0.00%) projects. Natural gas dominated the year with 7,270 MW of new capacity, representing 51.17 percent.
"Renewable energy sources are leaving coal, oil, and nuclear power in the dust as new sources of electrical generating capacity while challenging natural gas' current dominance," said Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. "The growth of renewables is likely to accelerate as the costs for new solar and wind, in particular, continue to drop making them ever more competitive with fossil fuels and nuclear power."
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