For New Power Gains in U.S., Renewable Energy Is King

According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 24 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generation capacity were added to the United States power grid in 2016. If you haven’t been keeping a close eye on U.S. energy infrastructure, the source of more than half (63 percent) of this new energy capacity might surprise you: It’s renewable energy. That’s the third year running that more than half of new energy additions stemmed from renewable sources, particularly in the wind and solar sectors. Renewable power capacity peaked in March when heavy rains and melting snow contributed to high amounts of hydroelectric power. In addition, strong winds peaked wind power generation as well. The West ranks first in renewable energy generation and accounted for most of the hydro (63 percent) and solar (77 percent) power produced in the U.S. last year. Wind generation is more evenly spread across the country, with 37 percent coming from the Midwest, 35 percent from the South and 24 percent from the West; the remaining 4 percent comes from the Northeast.

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