Solar, wind account for all capacity additions in January

Solar, wind account for all capacity additions in January

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News & Events - Engineering News

February 22, 2013

The U.S. has been tossing up wind turbines and solar panels at a mad pace over the past few years, only growing faster as time goes on. But in January, the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority reports that wind and solar plants are the only new power plants that went into operation.

The latest data on power capacity additions show that 28 new power plants came on-line in January. Six of them were minor biomass facilities amounting to no more than 6 megawatts. The remainder were all either wind or solar installations.

The six wind farms accounted for the lion's share of added capacity, rated at 958 megawatts, an increase of nearly three-and-a-half times the 276 megawatts added last January. The 16 solar plants added another 267 megawatts, more than double the 117 megawatts added in the first month of last year.

All told, these 28 power plants added 1,231 megawatts of renewable capacity, nearly four times the amount added last January.

Despite the booming natural gas industry and continued difficulties with the intermittent nature of solar and wind, a great amount of engineering resources have gone into promoting these renewable energy sources. The Hill reports that President Barack Obama has relaunched a council designed to help overcome some of the barriers keeping these technologies out of the market.

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