Thursday, August 22, 2013

Renewable Energy Growth

Today the EIA released Electric Power Monthly for June 2013.  As expected, total generation was down from June 2012 and 2011, primarily on weather.  

June wind power was up about 15% Year on Year, and solar continued its predictable growth, up 56% over June 2012.  It still contributes only a quarter of 1% of total generation, so its easy to ignore.  But quite a bit of additional solar will be coming online in the next two years, along with the small but growing 'problem' of off-grid capacity.  Installed PV (photo-voltaic)  capacity has been doubling annually for a while.  That can't continue, but significant growth will.  

Solar and wind make up all the growth in US renewables, and small as they may seem, they are taking important market share away from fossil fuels.  Here is the 12 month trailing average of renewables (ex-hydro) market share.  It is a threat to traditional utilities and pricing models in the industry, as substantial capacity is scheduled to be added in the next two years.