From U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory
From the April 2019 Issue
In the United States, renewable electricity grew to 19.7% of total installed capacity and 17.7% of total electricity generation in 2017, compared to 18.3% of total installed capacity and 15.6% of total electricity generation in 2016. This is according to the “2017 Renewable Energy Data Book,” now in its 10th edition. Globally, installed renewable electricity capacity also continued to increase in 2017, representing 32.2% of total capacity worldwide.
Published annually by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on behalf of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the “2017 Renewable Energy Data Book” presents U.S. and global energy statistics compiled from numerous data sources and includes renewable electricity generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and technology-specific data.
Produced by NREL’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center, the Data Book makes a wealth of renewable energy data accessible to a broad audience ranging from the interested public to energy decision-makers. This year’s edition is the first to include data and trends for electric vehicles and energy storage technologies, in addition to data-centric charts for wind, solar, hydropower, and alternative fuels.
“Since the first Data Book release 10 years ago, we’ve seen U.S. renewable electricity generation grow from 8.5% of total generation in 2007 to 17.7% in 2017—more than doubling its share of the generation mix—with generation from solar and wind increasing by a factor of 10,” said NREL Energy analyst Sam Koebrich. “This year, we expanded the Data Book to include information on emerging technologies including energy storage and electric vehicles, providing additional insights analysts, investors, and policymakers can use to assess U.S. and global renewable energy deployment and industry trends.”
Energy storage. In 2017, all new utility-scale storage installations in the United States were electrochemical (106.6 megawatts). There were no new electrochemical, thermal storage, or pumped-hydro projects.
Electric vehicles. According to the data, approximately 195,600 plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) were sold in the U.S. in 2017. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) each accounted for roughly half of the annual sales for all plug-in vehicles.
Key insights from the data released include:
- In 2017, renewable electricity accounted for 60% of U.S. electricity capacity additions, compared to 67% in 2016.
- U.S. wind capacity increased by more than 8.3% (6.8 gigawatts) compared to 2016, accounting for more than 43% of renewable electricity capacity installed. Wind represented 7.5% of cumulative U.S. installed electrical capacity in 2017.
- U.S. solar electricity capacity increased by 26% (8.9 gigawatts) compared to 2016, accounting for more than 54% of newly installed renewable electricity capacity in 2017. Solar represented 3.7% of cumulative U.S. installed electrical capacity in 2017.
Within the publication, state data was also highlighted. Key findings there include that in 2017, California continued to have the most installed renewable electricity capacity of any state (more than 37 gigawatts), followed by Texas (more than 25 gigawatts) and Washington (nearly 25 gigawatts). In other related highlights:
- Mississippi had the highest annual growth rate (53%) in installed renewable electricity capacity additions in 2017, followed by New Mexico (36%), Rhode Island (32%), the District of Columbia (32%), and Missouri (25%). Additions in solar capacity were the main driver of renewable electricity capacity growth in Mississippi, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia, while additions in wind capacity accounted for most of the growth in New Mexico and Missouri.
- Texas, the state with the greatest amount of installed wind capacity in 2017, experienced 11.4% growth of installed wind capacity (2.3 gigawatts) and saw an increase of solar PV capacity of more than 110% (648 megawatts (AC)).
The “2017 Renewable Energy Data Book” also includes region-specific and global energy data and trends. Interested parties can download a PDF of the document at this link.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.
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