Renewable Energy Marks Significant 'First'
by Sustainable Business
Environmental News Network, January 27, 2009
For the first time ever, non-hydroelectric renewable energy, led by wind power, was the leading source of new electric generating capacity in the United States, according to a newly-released report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The Electric Power Annual 2007 report found that in 2007, electric power generation increased 2.3% to 4,157 megawatt hours (MWh) in 2007, up from 4,065 million (MWh) in 2006.
Total net summer capacity increased 8,673 megawatts (MW). Wind capacity accounted for 5,186 MW of this new capacity.
Thus, for the first time ever, renewable energy sources, other than conventional hydroelectric capacity, accounted for the largest portion of capacity additions.
Net generation produced by renewable energy sources, excluding hydroelectric generation, grew by 9.0% as compared to 10.5% growth in 2006. Renewable energy accounted for 2.5% or 105 million MWh of total net generation in 2007. This marks the fourth consecutive year in which renewables' share of total net generation has increased.
In 2007, wood and wood derived fuels accounted for 39 million MWh or 0.9% of total net generation. These fuels continued to be the largest sources of renewable generation, accounting for 37.1% of total net renewable generation, excluding conventional hydroelectric generation.
Wood and wood derived fuels have maintained fairly stable output levels averaging 38 million MWh per year.
Other biomass supplied 17 million MWh of net generation. It has declined from a 23 million MWh peak in 2000 to 17 million MWh in 2007.
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