NREL Releases Renewable Energy Data Book

New findings in a report from the USA’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) show renewable sources of electricity, particularly solar and wind power, have doubled in the U.S. between 2000 and 2012 and continue to make significant contributions to global energy supplies.
  
Renewable energy now represents 12.4 percent of total electricity generation in the United States, and 23 percent of all electricity generation worldwide (4,892 TWh).
  
The NREL’s 128-page 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book is an annual report assessing U.S. energy statistics, providing current information to analysts and policymakers on the state of both domestic and global renewable energy sectors; along with investment trends in clean energy. 
  
According to the report, wind and solar photovoltaics were the fastest growing sources of renewable energy in 2012. In the United States, cumulative installed wind power grew by 28 percent on the previous year, while cumulative installed solar PV grew by a massive 83 percent on 2011 figures. Worldwide, solar generation grew by a factor of 49 between 2000 and 2012. 
  
While global wind capacity increased by a factor of 16 in 2012 – making it one of the fastest growing sources of renewable power generation worldwide. U.S. wind energy capacity eclipsed this figure, growing by a factor of 25, accounting for 75 percent of newly installed renewable electricity capacity in 2012. Texas was the top state in the wind power stakes, with more than 12 GW of wind capacity installed.
   
The U.S. solar industry is forecast to grow rapidly, with the report outlining 1.6 GW of concentrating solar power (CSP) projects currently under construction, with 900 MW to come online this year.
   
The top five countries for installed renewable energy are: China (most wind power); USA (most geothermal and biomass); Brazil (biomass and hydropower); Canada (hydropower); and Germany (world-leading nation for installed rooftop solar PV systems).