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US Electricity From Wind Beat Hydro For 1st Time Ever In November (Exclusive)

The US Energy Information Administration now has electricity generation figures up for December 2014, but one of our readers, Christopher Patusky, actually spotted a very interesting milestone from November that I think was widely missed: wind power produced more electricity than hydropower for the month as a whole… for the first time in history.

Originally, the numbers from the EIA showed that wind power produced 18,997 GWh of electricity, and hydro 18,647 GWh (as in my charts below). However, the EIA report for December shows that wind hit 19,055 GWh and hydro 18,712 GWh in November. Either way, wind power beat hydropower, and for the first calendar month in history.

That was also wind power’s biggest month ever in the US.

Wind didn’t beat hydro for the full year of course, but Christopher brought up the possibility of it doing so in 2015 or 2016, with both of us thinking that the annual crossover is more likely to happen in 2016.

As regular CleanTechnica readers must know, wind power capacity has been growing at a good clip. In November, it accounted for 31% of new US power capacity. It then accounted for 33% of new capacity in December, and it accounted for 55% of new capacity in January 2015. The way the boom-and-bust tax credit for wind power has been structured in the past few years, 2015 and 2016 should be big years for wind power capacity growth. It’ll be fun to see wind rising to new heights!

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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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