Renewables surged in 2012, according to FERC report

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A solar farm construction in southern Imperial County

WASHINGTON D.C. – ┬áNearly half of all the new electrical generating capacity installed in the United States in 2012 came from renewable energy sources, according to the most recent Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Wind energy posted the greatest gains overall, with 10,689 megawatts of new generation installed over the course of the year. It was followed by natural gas, at 8,746 MW, and coal, with 4,510 MW of capacity installed. Solar power added 1,476 MW, or about 5 percent of the total increase.

The United States added 18 percent more generating capacity in 2012 than in 2011, while renewable energy generation increased 51 percent compared with its gains the year before. Renewable energy now accounts for 16 percent of total U.S. electrical generating capacity, with hydropower making up a little more than half that amount.