EIA, Others Report Renewable Energy Gained Significant Ground During 2015

The Energy Information Administration reports that during 2015, eleven states generated at least 10% of their total electricity from wind, a significant increase from 2010, during which only three states had at least a 10% wind share.  Of the states that reached or crossed the 10% wind share threshold, Iowa had the largest wind generation share, with 31.3%, followed by South Dakota, with a 25.5% wind share, and Kansas, with 23.9%.  On a national scale, wind generators produced 190,927 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2015, roughly 4.7% of net U.S. electric power generation and more than double the 2010 wind production.

The year 2015 was not just a good one for wind.  According to the Department of Energy’s Revolution Now 2016 update, wind and utility-scale and distributed solar accounted for over 66% of all new capacity installed in the nation in 2015.  And the International Energy Agency, in its recently released Medium-Term Renewable Market Report, reports that in 2015 renewables collectively surpassed coal to become the largest source of installed power capacity in the world.

Reliance on renewables is expected to continue to climb.  EIA indicates that wind production is expected to be even higher for 2016, with monthly data through July indicating that 5.6% of U.S. generation in 2016 to date has come from wind.  And according to DOE’s report, analysts expect that over half of all solar capacity installations in 2016 will be driven by factors outside of Renewable Portfolio Standard obligations.

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