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Renewables account for 70% of generation adds in first 6 months of 2015

Data from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shows new renewable capacity added so far this year is 900 times that of coal, figures do not account for distributed solar PV.

The transitioning energy landscape of the U.S. has taken a further decisive step down the path marked “clean future” following data released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that showed renewable energy accounted for 70% of all new generating capacity in the first six months of the year.

FERC’s latest Energy Infrastructure Update revealed that 69.75% of new electrical generation placed in service in the U.S. over the first half of the year came from wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar sources.

New large-scale solar PV amounted to 549 MW, or 71 new units, according to the data. FERC does not take distributed solar PV (energy generated from residential and commercial rooftops) into account in its data*, which means that solar’s actual input to the U.S. energy mix is somewhat undersold by these figures.

However, the wider trend remains encouraging. There has been no new nuclear power or oil-based electricity generation capacity added anywhere in the U.S. so far this year, and only 3 MW of new coal capacity via a single installation. Hence, new renewable energy capacity is 904 times greater than that derived from coal.

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