The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book. The annual report is an assessment of U.S. energy statistics for 2012, including renewable electricity, worldwide renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and data on specific technologies.
Key findings in the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book include:
- Renewable electricity represented 14% of total installed capacity and more than 12% of total electric generation in 2012. Installed renewable electricity capacity is more than 163 gigawatts (GW).
- The installed global renewable electricity capacity, including hydropower, doubled between 2000 and 2012, and represents a significant and growing portion of the total energy supply both globally and in the U.S.
- In 2012, wind energy and solar photovoltaics (PV) were two of the fastest growing electric generation technologies in the U.S. Cumulative installed wind energy capacity increased by nearly 28% and cumulative installed solar photovoltaic capacity grew more than 83% from the previous year.
Renewable electricity has been capturing a growing percentage of new capacity additions during the past few years. In 2012, renewable electricity accounted for more than 56% of all new electrical capacity installations in the U.S.--a major increase from 2004 when renewable electricity installations captured only 2% of new capacity additions.