The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has revealed, in its 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book, that overall solar panel capacity in the United States grew by a massive 83% in 12 months between 2011 and 2012, PV Magazine has reported.
The annual assessment of energy performance in the United States, carried out on behalf of the U.S. Energy Department, has confirmed the emerging influence and importance of renewable energy and especially solar power across the country. Solar and wind were found to be the two fastest growing sources of energy in 2012, and solar came out on top with nearly 3 times the energy capacity.
It’s a great sign that renewable energy is growing so fast, however, there is still a long way to go before we start to see the possibility of a majority. The assessment noted that renewable energy accounted for 14% of overall installed energy capacity, which amounts to 163 gigawatts.
Another revealing stat is that over half (56%) of all energy capacity added in the United States in 2012 was renewable energy. Back in 2004, renewable energy only accounted for a mere 2% of new capacity. Another good sign is that the are a further 43 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic (solar panel) projects currently awaiting completion in the U.S., enough to power over six million households.