Clean Power

Published on August 20th, 2014 | by Roy L Hales


During July, 100% Of US Power Installations Were Renewables

August 20th, 2014 by  

Originally Published in the ECOreport

Heidel Hollow Farms, on Wednesday, April 20, 2011- US DOA

Heidel Hollow Farms, on Wednesday, April 20, 2011- US DOA

During July, 100% of US utility-scale power installations were renewables! It is the kind of deceptive announcement that is euphoric. America’s #1 energy, in terms of utility scale installations, is natural gas.

It is not certain which sector produced the most energy overall. We will have to wait for residential and commercial statistics to get a more accurate picture of solar’s real contribution.

Allen Hoffman, a retired senior executive from the DOE, says we are going to be stuck with natural gas for some time.

“There is too much money in it,” he explained.

Dr Hoffman believes the problems we keep hearing about can be reduced, though not totally eradicated, through proper regulation and enforcement.

(The ECOreport’s radio arm will be broadcasting my interview with him next week.)

British Columbia might be an exception, as Canada’s Supreme Court now recognizes Aboriginal Title. The province’s massive Montney Formation is under land connected to treaty #8. The First Nations of this area do not want LNG and have been promised the right to continue with their traditional way of life “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow.” There is still bitterness in this area arising from excesses during construction of the W C Bennet dam, more than a generation ago. Yet the struggle between Big Money and First Nations resolve is not over.

South of the border, 45.9% of this year’s newly installed MW comes from the natural gas sector.

It takes a combination of all utility scale renewables to beat this. 25.8% of this year’s installations were utility scale solar, 25.1% were wind, 1.8% biomass, l 0.7% geothermal and 0.4% hydropower. The combined total is 53.8%.

The energy contribution from all renewable sectors — residential, commercial and utility scale — will be higher.

Every utility-scale installation during July came from the renewable sector. Two wind facilities were completed in  Texas during July.  New solar installations went online in Indiana, Maine, Vermont, and Maryland.

“This is not the first time in recent years that all new electrical generating capacity for a given month has come from renewable energy sources,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “And it is likely to become an ever more frequent occurrence in the months and years ahead.”

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

  • JamesWimberley

    Another eye-catching headline is that at 2 pm. on August 18, Germany met 75% of its domestic electricity demand from renewables (link). Blackouts? What blackouts? More significant was the share over the 24 hours: 50%. Inflexible nuclear and fossil power producers had to export output at a negative price. It’s a death spiral for coal.

    • Bob_Wallace

      James, I suspect you’re following the data on Renewables International and seeing the price of electricity below the break even point for fossil fuels day after day after day.

      At the end of July 98 out of 121 days.

  • Mint

    This is a good factoid to throw at people that say EVs burns coal.

    EVs add new demand to the grid (primarily at night). New supply is almost all renewable, and at worst idle natural gas spinning up.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Point out that the new wind generation added to the grid is likely the source of nighttime charging since we already had plenty nighttime capacity.

      • Calamity_Jean

        Which means that cheap wind power cuts the coal plant’s profit, and could contribute to driving it out of business. Goodbye, carbon dioxide!

  • jeffhre

    “During July, 100% Of US Installations Were Renewables”

    Interesting. In the last 30 months this occurrence has gone from laughably implausible. To highly unusual. To relatively common.

    • Bob_Wallace

      100% renewables?



    • Ha, so true.

    • And now the opposition is just saying, “but it’s a small % of total electricity supply & production.”

  • spec9

    A really nice thing about most renewable projects is that they can be sited, approved, built, inspected, and put into operation in a matter of months instead of years.

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