in Up Front
print the content item



Renewable energy provided 13% of U.S. electricity generation in 2013, up from 12% in 2012 and just 8% in 2007, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The report, produced for The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, covers renewables, energy efficiency and natural gas.

The report also says renewable energy costs reached all-time lows in 2013, allowing clean energy, with the aid of incentives, to be cheaper than fossil fuel electricity in some parts of the country. Small, distributed generators and off-grid installations, meanwhile, began to emerge as a transformative force in the power industry, the report adds.

Uncertain and chaotic energy policy in Washington was the biggest speed bump for clean energy in 2013, according to BNEF. For example, new wind power installations decreased dramatically last year due to the late extension of the wind production tax credit. Conversely, BNEF notes federal solar tax credits did not require renewal for 2013, which helped propel a dramatic 50% increase in cumulative solar installations.

"We urge legislators and policymakers to clarify and stabilize clean energy policies both at the federal and state levels in order to accelerate America's energy transformation," comments Lisa Jacobson, president of The Business Council for Sustainable Energy. "Clean energy technologies have made major gains in the last five years, and further growth will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve our energy security and strengthen the U.S. economy."

BNEF notes that renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas are mainly responsible for the nearly 10% decline in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions since 2005, taking the country more than halfway to President Barack Obama's goal of achieving a 17% reduction in emissions by 2020.

"The changes unfolding in the U.S. energy industry have been profound and, by the typical time scale of the industry, abrupt," says Michel Di Capua, head of North American analysis for BNEF. "The effects of these changes will be felt in seemingly every nook and cranny of the American economy, from military bases to manufacturing plants, from homes to highways. 2013 saw some detours from the long-term trends, but overall, it is clear that the long-term transformation of how the U.S. produces and consumes energy continues."


Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
Latest Top Stories

Duke Energy Commits $500M To Major Solar Expansion In N.C.

The utility company says the investment will help further diversify its portfolio, as well as increase solar power for its North Carolina customers by 60%.


Sensus Issues Refund To SaskPower After Smart Meter Woes

As SaskPower continues to swap out its Sensus units following several meter failures, the two companies have reached an agreement in order for the utility to recover costs.


The Smart Utility's Guide To Choosing A Smart Meter

Electricity providers across North America are taking on grid modernization. This article outlines the myriad factors a utility should consider in order to select the best-possible smart meter.


DOE Report: U.S. Wind Power Prices Reach All-Time Low

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), wind power continues to play a larger role in the U.S.' energy mix and is the cheapest it has ever been in the country.


Survey Reveals What U.S. Consumers Expect From Their Utilities

GE's new survey measures Americans' views on the state and future of the grid, as well as how much extra consumers would be willing to pay for better power reliability.

S&C Electric_id176
Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015
edf_id180
Future Energy_id187