According to a new report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources made up nearly 70 percent (69.75 percent to be exact) of new electrical generation installed in the United States during the first half of 2015.
Newly Installed Megawatts (MW):
Wind: 1,969 MW
Solar: 549 MW
Biomass: 128 MW
Geothermal steam: 45 MW
Hydropower: 21 MW
Those numbers may seem small, if you don’t have a grasp on what a megawatt is. Let’s put it into perspective:
1 MW of solar PV = powers an average of 164 homes
549 MW of newly added solar capacity = powers an average of 90,036 homes
While renewables are continuing to grow exponentially, FERC reported that oil and nuclear power have seen no growth this year. Coal saw a growth of only 3 MW.
The fast growth of renewables—and the decline of fossil fuel and nuclear energy growth—is a good sign for the future, and shows that the United States is on the path toward being a more sustainable country. But America still has a long way to go before renewable sources provide the majority of energy to its citizens.
As displayed in the chart below, the most plentiful renewable source—water—only makes up 8.61 percent of the United States’ total energy capacity. And despite how fast solar is growing in many parts of the country, it still only provides just over one percent.
It’s not enough to embrace renewable energy sources—we have to turn away from fossil fuels. The world is already feeling the consequences of climate change that is largely caused by the extraction and use of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.
Exact Solar can help your home or business transition to renewable energy too! Serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Written by Sarah Bergen. Sarah is a writer and editor from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about environmental issues, sustainability, and health. She can be reached at [email protected].