2012-2013 are big years in the transition to a Green Economy, though mainstream media headlines may not reflect it. While many focus on the boom in natural gas, the growth in wind and solar are certainly deserving of similar headlines. Record-breaking installations over the past few years have boosted renewable energy as the supplier of almost 16% of U.S. electrical generating capacity, more than nuclear and oil combined.
In March 2013, renewable energy accounted for 100% of all new electrical capacity in the U.S., and 82% for the first quarter as a whole. 1546 megawatts (MW) of renewables came online, compared to 340 MW of natural gas — according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in the form of six wind farms (958 MW), 38 solar farms (537 MW) and 28 biomass plants (46 MW). The solar added is more than double that of the first quarter last year. In 2012, renewables accounted for almost half of all new electrical generating capacity — 46.22%. And this doesn’t count the growth of small rooftop solar systems.
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Written by: Rona Fried, Ph.D. is CEO of SustainableBusiness.com, providing green business news and green jobs online since 1996. She builds the universe of eligible components based on the index methodology for NASDAQ’s Green Economy Index.