Wind blows away hydro to claim top green source spot

Wind power claimed the top spot as the main clean energy generating source in the US last year. It surpassed conventional hydroelectric generating capacity, long the nation’s largest source of […]

Register now!

By Priyanka Shrestha

Wind power claimed the top spot as the main clean energy generating source in the US last year.

It surpassed conventional hydroelectric generating capacity, long the nation’s largest source of renewable electricity, for the first time, according to latest figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Around 8,727MW of new wind capacity came online in 2016, totalling 82,200MW. In contrast, hydropower had roughly 80,00MW of installed capacity, the EIA adds.

However, it expects hydropower to exceed wind production again this year, “given the hydro fleet’s higher average capacity factors and the above-normal precipitation on the West Coast so far this year”.

That’s despite continuing additions of new wind capacity expected throughout this year.

Last December, the first offshore wind farm in the US started generating electricity.

More than half of the EU’s new electricity generation in 2016 was in the form of wind energy.