Renewables account for almost half of 2017 utility-scale additions in US

Monday 22 January 2018

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The US installed 25 GW of utility-scale power capacity in 2017, of which renewables accounted for 49%, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates, based on preliminary data.

This percentage is down compared to the previous three years. Renewables accounted for 62% of capacity additions in 2016, 67% in 2015 and 51% in 2014.

The country's new renewable power capacity installed in 2017 was mainly wind and solar. An additional 3.5 GW of small-scale solar net capacity is estimated to have been added last year.

Renewable installations were skewed towards the final quarter of the year, with more than 50% of the thousands of megawatts coming online in that period. EIA said that estimated fourth-quarter capacity additions are based on planned additions reported to the agency and are subject to change.

Monthly renewable generation peaked in March at 67.5 billion kWh, providing 21% of total utility-scale power output. March was also the month when monthly wind and solar generation, including utility-scale and small-scale systems, for the first time exceeded 10% of total generation. 

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