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ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update

Renewable energy continues to dominate new power plant capacity and distributed generation has contributed an increasingly large share. In recognition of this, the federal Energy Information Administration is finally going to report estimates of distributed solar power capacity in its monthly updates, a big victory for tracking an individually-small but collectively-large power resource!

See previous updates: 2015 Q2, 2015 Q1, 2014 Q4, 2014 Q3, 2014 Q2

Renewables Dominate New Annual Capacity

It’s been nearly 10 years since fossil fuel power plants represented more than 60% of new power plant capacity (2006), and it looks like three years running where distributed solar will represent at least 10% of new power capacity. Below is the annual data since 2003.

us power plant capacity additions through 2015Q3

The growth of distributed solar varies more widely by quarter, but has been consistently 10% or more of new power plant capacity.

us power plant capacity additions by quarter through 2015q3

The growth in distributed solar continues to expand the opportunity for electric customers to own a slice of their energy future, an economic windfall that could cumulatively shift as much as $48 billion from electric utilities to their customers in the next 10 years.

featured image credit: Andrew _ B via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license)

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Democratic Energy weekly update.

 

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Written By

John directs the Democratic Energy program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at jfarrell@ilsr.org.

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