Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Renewable Capacity Falls 50% In First 6 Months Of 2013 Compared To 2012

With the exception of solar, the renewable energy generation boom has hit a soft patch. New renewable capacity in the first 6 months of 2013 is down 50% compared to the same period in 2012.

From January to June 2013, FERC states that 2,134 megawatts of new renewable generation capacity began operating, but that number does not include large amounts of distributed solar.  That is down from 4,201 megawatts in the first 6 months of 2012.

The big drop is due to a sharp decline in new wind generation beginning operation so far this year. Through June,  959 megawatts of new wind capacity started delivering power to the grid, while 2,766 megawatts began operating from January to June 2012.

Last year wind had its best year ever, installing approximately 13,000 megawatts.  New wind this year will be much less and that will pull down the total new renewable energy capacity being added. New biomass and geothermal generation is also down.

To repeat, the FERC data does not include distributed solar generation but tracks only utility-scale generation.  This year solar will have a record year and may install close to 5,000 megawatts in all its forms.

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