It might have only been 44 megawatts, but in March 2013, all new capacity added to the U.S. power grid came from solar power for the first time ever. There was no capacity added by any other sources, but 44 megawatts is a pretty significant amount for a single source of energy in any one month, and it shows the consistency of solar to keeping adding new power.
The numbers are showing a pretty interesting shift in trends between 2012 and 2013. So far this year, solar has added 537 megawatts, and wind power has added 958 megawatts. Wind still accounts for more than all other sources combined. In 2012, coal and natural gas took the lead. The most intriguing part of the report is that in the last 3 months, new solar capacity has already been more than twice that of 2012.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar energy used to power U.S. homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by more than 600% since 2008. In 2012, more solar capacity was brought online in the U.S. than the previous three years combined.
We have seen some serious jumps in both wind and solar installations over the past few years. Do you think other forms of renewable energy will start to gain this much momentum, or will wind and solar continue to take the lead across the nation and around the world?
Image CC licensed by Andreas Demmelbauer