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In the U.S., renewable energy sources - including biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro and wind - accounted for 41.14% of new electrical generating capacity installed in October and 46.22% for the first 10 months of 2012, according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.

In October, 10 new wind power projects (594 MW) came online, as well as three biomass projects (69 MW), 10 solar projects (59 MW) and one hydropower project (5 MW).

During the first 10 months of 2012, 92 wind projects (5,403 MW), 167 solar projects (1,032 MW), 79 biomass projects (409 MW), seven geothermal projects (123 MW) and nine hydropower projects (12 MW) came online.

By comparison, new natural gas capacity additions since the beginning of this year totaled 67 projects (5,702 MW), while three new coal projects added 2,276 MW. Nuclear and oil represented just 0.8% and 0.1% of new capacity additions, respectively.

According to the report, the new renewable energy generating capacity added in 2012 represents a 47.7% increase over the level recorded for the same period in 2011.

Ken Bossong, executive director of the nonprofit research firm SUN DAY Campaign, commented on the report: "The continued strong growth by renewable energy sources for electrical power generation over the past four or five years vindicates the investments made in these technologies. Moreover, their rapid expansion underscores their near-term viability for ultimately phasing out both fossil fuels and nuclear power."

In addition, the FERC report notes transmission projects that have been completed in the U.S. between January and October. Cumulatively, the nation saw 1,191.1 miles of new transmission lines during that period, including 366.2 miles of ≤230 kV lines, 654.8 miles of 345 kV lines and 170.1 miles of 500 kV lines. The report also shows there is a high probability that 11,468 miles of new transmission lines will be built by October 2014.

To view the full report, click here.




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