Renewable Energy was Largest New Power Source in US in 2007

03Feb09

The EIA has just published its review of the US power sector in 2007.

It contains a very interesting statistic…in 2007 the majority of new power installed came from renewable sources (predominantly wind). A total of 8.6GW of new power was installed in 2007 with around 5GW coming from wind. Almost all the rest of the additional new capacity came from natural gas. This is apparently the first time that this has happened if we exclude conventional hydroelectric projects from our definition of renewables. I would imagine that 2008 will be even more positive for renewables.

But, before we get carried away, in spite of these new statistics, renewables remain a very small proportion of total US energy supply (about 2.5% of total generation if we exlcude conventional hydro from the calculation) . And of course, these statistics are for installed capacity; in terms of new generation in 2007, natural gas was still a larger source than wind. Natural gas generation increased by 80,000MWh in 2007, compared with an increase of 8,700MWh from renewables sources excluding conventional hydro. Nevertheless, its an interesting watershed.

I wonder what the comparable figures are for Europe and in other countries?

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