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Renewable Energy Provided 99 Percent of New Power Generation in January

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The new year began with as green a bang as any renewable energy advocate could have hoped for.

Renewable sources provided nearly 100 percent of the new power generation installed in the U.S. in January, according to new data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Of the 325 megawatts (MW) of added generation, only 1 MW was qualified as something other than a renewable energy source. In fact, it was listed under the "other" category.

Table credit: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Solar energy crushed all competitors with 287 MW installed last month. Geothermal steam projects accounted for 30 MW, while wind came in third at 4 MW.

Coal, natural gas, nuclear and oil combined for zero units and zero installed capacity. Last year, natural gas installed more in January than all types of energy did last month.

Table credit: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

While solar energy far outpaced its counterparts in January, it will take many similar months for clean energy to chip away at the dominance of natural gas and coal. Those two sources combine for nearly three-quarters of the nation's total energy capacity.

However, as Think Progress points out, renewables have experienced wildly successful months before. In November 2013, 100 percent of the 394 MW of new capacity added came from renewable sources. The month before that, 99 percent of the 699 MW added were renewable.

March 2013 was a 100-percent solar month with seven units of new capacity totaling 44 MW.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

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