Renewable energy was the leading source of added generation capacity in 2016 – as it has been for three years, according to a new federal report.
Of the 24,000 megawatts added to the grid last year, more than half was tied to renewable energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Renewables share of utility-scale capacity additions amounted to 40 percent in 2013, 51 percent in 2014, 66 percent in 2015 and 63 percent in 2016.
Contributing to the renewables surge, EIA reported, were the following:
“The production tax credit for wind and the solar investment tax credit were extended at the end of 2015. The tax credits include an eventual decline in value for both technologies with the PTC for wind expiring in 2020 and the ITC for large-scale solar declining from 30% to a permanent 10% and expiring for residential projects in 2022.
“New York, Oregon, and the District of Columbia extended and expanded their mandates for renewable electric generation to reach 50% of each state’s total electricity generation by 2030, 2032, and 2040, respectively.
“Hydroelectric generation increased as drought conditions that affected hydroelectric generation on the West Coast in 2014 and 2015 diminished.”