Hydropower remains top in American renewable energy percentage

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Renewable energy including hydroelectric power accounted for nearly 25% of all new domestic electricity sources through the first six months of 2013, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recently released "Energy Infrastructure Update".

The report, available online here, shows that renewable development outpaced coal, oil and nuclear power combined through the end of June, though natural gas development dominated the first half of 2013 with 56.41%, or 4,852 MW, of new capacity.

According to FERC, solar energy led the way in renewables with 979 MW of new installed capacity, followed by wind power with 959 MW. Biomass added an additional 116 MW, with geothermal sources accounting for an additional 14 MW.

Meanwhile, hydropower projects accounted for 76 MW of new capacity, representing a ten-fold increase from the same period in 2012 when hydroelectricity accounted for only 7 MW of new development.

Overall, the document said, new capacity from all sources declined 16% through the first half of the year, dipping from 10,259 MW to 8,601 MW.

Still, hydroelectric power accounts for the majority of America's renewable generation capacity, providing 8.52% of the country's energy. Wind is second at 5.17%, biomass at 1.31%, solar at 0.48%, and geothermal with 0.33%.

The cumulative output capacity from all renewable sources is more than nuclear (9.05%) and oil (3.51%) combined.

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