Three-fifths of the new electricity generation installed in the United States in the first nine months of this year came from renewable sources, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reported last week in its Energy Infrastructure Update.
“In the month of September, wind topped the new generation capacity list with 448 MW, natural gas was second at 346 MW, and solar was third with 20 MW of new capacity,” UtilityDive reports. But “critics point out the renewables numbers—especially those for solar—are underestimated.”
FERC and the U.S. Energy Information Administration differed in their calculations of renewable energy’s total contribution to the grid, with the EIA estimating 13.6% and FERC coming in at 17.4%. “Renewables advocates say FERC and EIA do not fully account for distributed energy resources in their measurements, meaning that actual renewable energy penetration is higher than the figures suggest,” Trabish writes. “Nationwide, rooftop solar is estimated at about 45% of installed solar capacity.”