Renewable energy generates record power in US in 2016

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/26 15:29:30

Renewable energy, including hydroelectricity, has been producing more electricity than ever in the United States since the beginning of this year, according to data released by the US Energy Department on Thursday.

Renewable electricity generation has surpassed levels from previous years in every month so far this year, and the department attributed the increase of renewable electricity generation partly to the easing of a Pacific west coast drought, which lowered hydroelectricity production in recent years.

Renewable electricity sources include both conventional hydro and non-hydro sources such as wind, geothermal, biomass, and solar.

Despite the improvement in hydro power, solar, wind and other renewables are having a bigger share of power generation. `

According to the department, in March, renewables, excluding hydro, accounted for more than 10 percent of the country's power generation for the first time.

The increase of non-hydro renewables, particularly wind and solar, has accounted for most to the new generating capacity added to the US power grid.

Texas, the nation's second largest state, is a leader in clean energy development, particularly in wind power.

Currently, Texas produces the most wind power of any US state and Texas' wind power consists of many wind farms with a total installed nameplate capacity of 17,713 MW from over 40 different projects. In 2015, wind power accounted for 11.7 percent of the electricity generated in the state.

In solar power, Texas is lagging behind the nation's some other sunny southwestern states, but the state has great potential in solar energy. In 2014, the state installed 129 megawatts of solar, ranking it eighth for the year in the US.

A study by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that the US can generate most of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050.

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study found that an 80 percent renewables future is feasible with currently available technologies, including wind turbines, solar photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, biopower, geothermal, and hydropower.

Variable resources such as wind and solar power can provide up to about half of US electricity, with the remaining 30 percent from other renewable sources.

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