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SunEdison technician at ABB solar power plant in Nevada. Photo by Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica.

Clean Power

83% Increase In US Solar PV Capacity In 2012

According to a data book from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), solar PV generation capacity increased by 83% across the United States in 2012.

The study was compiled on behalf of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as part of an annual effort to monitor and promote renewable energy utilization. So far, the effort has shown rapid renewable energy growth, especially wind and solar, but solar exceeded wind even three-fold. (However, it’s worth noting that solar PV started at a much lower capacity level.)

The research also showed that renewable energy accounted for 14% of all electricity generation capacity at the end of 2012, and more than 12% of all electricity generated in that period.

SunEdison technician at ABB solar power plant in Nevada.

ABB solar power plant in Nevada, with a fellow Jamaican who is a technician there.
Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica (free to republish under a CC BY-SA license as long as credit is provided and the links are not removed)


But there’s even more good news. In 2012, renewable energy accounted for 56% of all new electricity generation capacity, that is a very sharp increase from the 2% that it was at back in 2004!

This statistic is particularly useful because it shows how the transition from traditional energy sources to renewable ones is progressing. This shows that the renewable energy industry is no longer just lagging behind the fossil fuel one and only growing due to the country’s population growth, but it is exploding, and it will over at some point.

Renewable energy has been “on its way” for a long time, and now it finally is.

“The Renewable Energy Data Book is filled with information-packed charts and graphics, which allows users, from analysts to policymakers, to quickly understand and summarize trends in renewable energy – both on a U.S. and a global scale,” said NREL energy analyst Rachel Gelman.

Follow me on Twitter @Kompulsa.

Check out our NREL channel for more interesting research from NREL.

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writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

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