Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
For the first time ever, US wind and solar electricity generation exceeded 10% of the monthly total in March, according to figures published by the country's Energy Information Agency this week. 

Clean Power

US Wind & Solar Accounts For 10% Of March Electricity For 1st Time

For the first time ever, US wind and solar electricity generation exceeded 10% of the monthly total in March, according to figures published by the country’s Energy Information Agency this week. 

For the first time ever, US wind and solar electricity generation exceeded 10% of the monthly total in March, according to figures published by the country’s Energy Information Agency this week.

The EIA published a short update on its website on Wednesday, revealing that electricity generation data from March showed that wind and solar energy together generated 10% of the month’s total share of electricity, the first time this has ever happened in the country. In 2016, wind and solar accounted for 7% of the year’s electricity generation, so this new record might presage bigger things to come from the US renewable energy industry.

The EIA also predicts that electricity generation from wind and solar will exceed 10% of total US electricity generation in April as well, given the time of year. Wind powered generation from states like Texas, Oklahoma, and other nearby states, experience their peak during the spring months, while Californian wind energy sees its peak happen during summer months. Considering that Texas has the country’s largest amount of installed wind capacity, nearing 22 gigawatts (GW), it is therefore unsurprising that March and April would be strong months for wind energy generation.

In fact, if we look at new capacity added during the first quarter (which would not inherently have contributed to March’s record generation figures), we see that Texas led the way with 724 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity, followed by Kansas with 481 MW. The first quarter was the most successful quarter for new wind capacity additions since 2009, according to the American Wind Energy Association, and overall 908 utility-scale wind turbines totaling 2 GW were installed during the quarter.

Further, figures published in early-May revealed that wind and solar provided the majority of first quarter new generating capacity additions. Interestingly, the numbers provided by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) differ from those published by the AWEA, suggesting only 1,479 MW of new wind was installed, alongside 939 MW of new solar capacity. This would suggest that, in fact, the first quarter saw close to 3 GW of new wind and solar installed.

Things get even more confusing when you integrate figures published this month by GTM Research and the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which claim 2,044 MW of new solar PV was added in the first quarter — double the figure suggested by FERC. Given that FERC published its figures a month ago, it is possible that the reason organizations like the SEIA, GTM, and AWEA wait to publish their figures is due to the need to wait for all the information to filter in.

The story, however, regardless of which figures you subscribe to, shows that wind and solar generation is booming in the United States. While Donald Trump’s Presidency has not yet had the time to impact installation figures, the industry can rest a little easier knowing that it would take a massive effort to restrict and hamper the existing momentum already in effect. The US renewable energy industry might be hampered over the next four years, but existing pipelines, combined with the existing economic argument that can be made for clean technology, are both likely to keep the industry ticking over until a more sensible Administration is installed in the White House.

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Power

Today, US Solar announced the groundbreaking of USS Giveback, its first Community Solar Gardens with Black Hills Energy in Pueblo, Colorado. With enough capacity...

Clean Power

New Report Shows Solar Energy Rapidly Expands, Generating More Electricity in 2035 than All Homes Consume Today and Creating Economic Opportunities Across America

Batteries

Another week has flown by and we’ve got another roundup of our top (most popular) stories of the week. This past week, the interest...

Clean Power

Courtesy of NRDC By Christian Tae It’s official: renewable resources surpassed coal in 2020 to become the third-largest source of electricity nationwide according to...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.