The pace of adding renewable energy sources to the U.S. electrical grid continues to accelerate, as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects released a new report on July 19 showing that 25 percent of electric generating capacity added in the first six months of 2013 came from renewables.
A total of 8,601 megawatts (MW) of new energy projects were completed in 2013. Solar energy accounted for 969 MW of new capacity added in the first six months of this year, which is enough solar power capacity to provide electricity for over 700,000 homes, and represents an increase of 3.70 percent over this same time period in 2012.
Renewable energy sources now contribute 16 percent of the total energy used in the U.S., with solar power generating 0.48 percent. However, something to remember is that solar energy is the fastest growing source in the country. A recent report from the Solar Energy Industry Association indicated that the total number of solar panel installations had grown 33 percent year over year for the first quarter of 2013 so it’s possible that this statistic will increase and solar power will make up a larger percentage of new renewable energy added in the coming years.
The growth of solar energy is good news for the planet and rate-payers. This technology provides a clean, renewable source of power that can help stabilize utility bills and improve air quality. A solar electric system will allow you to take advantage of California solar incentives as well as many local and federal programs that will deliver a return on your investment.