During July, 100% Of US Power Installations Were Renewables

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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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Roy L Hales

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 Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

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