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Renewables reach 16.7% of US' total power capacity in 2015 - NREL

Wind and solar power plant in the US. Featured Image: welcomia/Shutterstock.com

November 23 (SeeNews) - US renewable electricity has grown to 16.7% of total installed capacity and 13.8% of total power generation in 2015, according to the latest data book by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Last year, renewable electricity accounted for 64% of the country’s power capacity additions compared to 52% a year back, the 2015 Renewable Energy Data Book shows. Total renewable power production went up by 2.4%, with solar electricity generation jumping 35.8% (11 TWh) and wind production rising 5.1% (9.3 TWh).

Even though hydroelectric plants produced over 44% of total renewable electricity generation in 2015, hydropower production fell by 3.2%. The combined share of wind and solar as a percentage of renewable generation continued to grow, reaching 34% for wind and 8% for solar, including both photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). The shares of biomass and geothermal were 11% and 3%, respectively.

The total installed capacity of US wind farms increased by over 12% and accounted for more than 56% of nationwide renewable electricity capacity installed in 2015. At the same time, the total installed solar capacity climbed by 36%, accounting for almost 40% of the new renewable electricity capacity in the country.

With nearly 31 GW of installed renewable power capacity, California was the top renewable energy state. Washington came second with almost 25 GW and Texas was third with over 19 GW.

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