Renewables Dominated the US Power Generation in 2016

The Brazos Wind Farm. Texas. Credit: Creative Commons/Leaflet

The Brazos Wind Farm. Texas. Credit: Creative Commons/Leaflet

Renewable energy is paving ways and it is reiterated by a new report which projects that renewable energy outpaced fossil fuels & dominated the New U.S. power generated in 2016.  

In the data released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), it is projected that there would reportedly be no roll-back in advances of clean energy with the new Trump administration. FERC also reported that around 26 gigawatts of clean energy capacity was added in the US in 2016.

The executive director of the Sun Day Campaign, Ken Bossong, said that the new Trump administration’s focus on fossil fuels was not environmentally reckless in light of the new FERC data. He added that the energy sources were making America great again.

The combined installed capacity in 2016 looked as follows:

  • Renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind): 61.5% or 16,124 megawatts
  • Natural gas: 8,689 megawatts
  • Nuclear power: 1,270 megawatts
  • Oil: 58 megawatts
  • Coal: 0.17% or 45 megawatts

In the context of the new power generation in the US, natural gas appeared to be leading with around 8.8 gigawatts of new capacity that was launched in 2016. In 2015, the wind power was the largest source of new power, but in 2016 there seemed to be a dip in this source. There was a pitch in solar power with the new solar capacity doubling last year to around 7.8 gigawatts.

All of this growth can be easily correlated to employment generation. According to the US Department of Energy (DoE), the jobs in renewable power generation sector surpassed fossil fuel energy jobs by 5 to 1. Now, around one million Americans are working in the clean-energy sectors like solar and wind.

Some of the new power installations were reportedly dominated in states that voted for Donald Trump. Several of the largest renewable energy projects include:

  • Grande Prairie Wind Farm Project, Nebraska: 400 megawatts
  • Ida Grove Wind Project, Iowa: 301 megawatts
  • Hidalgo Wind Farm, Texas: 250 megawatts

There was also various wind farm projects in Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Missouri of around 200 megawatts.

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