NREL’s Renewable Energy Data Book is Chock Full of Statistics

November 25, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage NREL chart

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book, an annual assessment of US energy statistics, 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:

  • The installed global renewable electricity capacity doubled between 2000 and 2012.
  • Renewable electricity represented 14 percent of total installed capacity and more than 12 percent of total electric generation in the United States in 2012. Installed renewable electricity capacity is more than 163 GW.
  • In 2012 in the United States, cumulative installed wind capacity increased by nearly 28 percent and cumulative installed solar photovoltaic capacity grew more than 83 percent from the previous year.
  • Worldwide, wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable electricity technologies— between 2000 and 2012, wind electricity generation worldwide increased by a factor of nearly 16.
  • In the United States, 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 percent of all new electrical capacity installations in the US – a large change from 2004 when all renewable electricity captured only 2 percent of new capacity additions.

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