Friday, February 28, 2014

United States starts 2014 with renewables

The latest US government report claims that renewable energy sources accounted for almost all of the new utility-scale generating capacity installed in the country in the first month of 2014, with solar energy projects leading the way with the total capacity of 287 MW being added in the January, followed by geothermal energy projects with the total capacity of 30 MW.

The majority of new solar energy projects in United States were developed in Southwest, where there were several big solar energy projects, with the largest of them all being the Exelon Corp’s 130-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Phase II expansion project in Los Angeles County.

It has been reported that in 2013 renewable energy projects accounted for 37% of total utility scale generating capacity installed in the country, and this could turn out to be even bigger percentage this year, if things continue to move in the similar direction for the next couple of months.

It also has to be mentioned here that this latest governmental report only includes utility-scale development meaning that it excludes the rooftop solar on homes and businesses, which is a fast developing sector said to be averaging over 100 megawatts of new capacity every month.

The renewable energy sector is certainly off to a good start in United States. Many energy analysts expect that this trend will continue for months to come particularly because wind energy industry is expected to recover significantly this year, in comparison to 2013.

Fossil fuels will still likely rule US energy market for foreseeable future but renewable energy industry is constantly developing into bigger and bigger player on the market, attracting more and more investments. It will be very interesting to see the final numbers once this year ends, and whether renewables could finally account for the majority of new utility-scale generating capacity beating the mighty fossil fuel industry.