Renewables made up half of utility-scale power installed in 2017

Mass migration of Australian businesses to renewables
Credit: Eviart

According to estimates from the US Energy Information Administration, almost half of utility-scale capacity installed in the US last year came from renewables.

Of the renewable capacity additions in 2017, more than half came online during the fourth quarter.

Renewable capacity additions are often highest in the final months of the year, in part because of timing qualifications for federal, state, or local tax incentives.

Estimated fourth-quarter capacity additions for 2017 are based on planned additions reported to EIA and are subject to change based on actual project completions.

Monthly US renewable electricity generation peaked in March at 67.5 billion kilowatthours, or 21% of total utility-scale electricity generation.

In late spring, the melting snowpack from a winter characterized by higher-than-average levels of precipitation increased hydroelectric generation, while strong wind resources in March also produced a peak in monthly wind generation for the year.

Most renewable generation in 2017 came from the Western census division, which accounted for the majority of the hydroelectric (67%) and solar (69%) generation.

Wind generation was more evenly spread across the country in 2017, with 37% occurring in the Midwest, 37% in the South, 21% in the West, and the remaining 4% in the Northeast.