Wind, solar surpass 10% of US electricity for first time

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Monthly net electricity generation from selected fuels (January 2007 – March 2017). Source: EIA

Wind and solar power produced more than 10% of the electricity generated in the US for the time in March, according to new analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Wind and solar power capacity has been growing in the US, accounting for an average of up to 7% of electricity in 2016.

Wind accounted for 8% of the electricity produced, with solar producing the remaining 2% that month. In almost all states, wind makes up a larger share of total electricity generation than solar, according to the EIA. Among the top dozen states, only California and Arizona had more solar generation than wind in 2016. Three states in the top 12 – Iowa, Kansas, and North Dakota – had no generation from utility-scale solar plants in 2016 and relatively little output from small-scale solar.

The solar generation for the analysis was sourced from both distributed residential solar panels and utility-scale installations, reflecting an ongoing effort to install more renewable capacity and work towards a more low-carbon economy. The US market added 2,044MW of new solar PV capacity in Q1 2017 alone, according to GTM Research’s latest figures.

Spring and early autumn months are often anticipated to break renewable energy records due to high winds and increased sunlight in the northern hemisphere. Further, milder weather generally means air conditioning and heating units are not used as much, resulting in a lower overall electricity use. California broke a record for its renewable energy production in May, according to the state’s system operator (CAISO); with solar, wind and hydro producing a record of 80.7% of the grid’s electricity.

The Administration expects the two sources to top 10% again in April but forecasts that their generation will fall below that mark during the summer months. However, monthly solar output is highest in the summer months because of the higher number of daylight hours. 

Read Next

July 29, 2021
Power product supplier Generac upgraded its forecast for 2021 after reporting an “exceptional” set of Q2 2021 results, boosted by strong sales growth in its residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) markets.
July 26, 2021
Support for distributed energy resources (DERs) like rooftop solar, community solar and battery storage could save Californian ratepayers US$120 billion over the next 30 years, according to a new report
July 22, 2021
US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has failed in a bid to fast-track the US’ US$1.2 trillion infrastructure investment bill through the Senate. But there remains hope that further progress could be made as early as next Monday, when some Republican senators believe the bill will be fit to proceed.
July 22, 2021
If current trends continue, renewable energy will provide roughly one-third of US electricity to the grid by 2030, although this could reach half if deployment increases
July 21, 2021
A round-up of the latest stories from the US solar market, featuring news of EPC Signal Energy and tracker provider Nextracker being selected for a 728MW solar portfolio in Texas and California, and Longroad Energy completing a financing package for its 200MWdc solar project in Arizona.
July 21, 2021
At least 455GW of new solar PV capacity will need to be installed each year by the end of this decade for the world to reach net zero status by 2050, new analysis by BloombergNEF (BNEF) has found.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK