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The 2016 Renewable Energy Data Book shows that US renewable electricity grew to 18.3 per cent of total installed capacity and 15.6 per cent of total electricity generation in 2016. The Renewable Energy Data Book, published at the end of 2017, compiles the latest available statistics for the 2016 calendar year.

Key insights include:

  • Renewable electricity accounted for 67 per cent of US electricity capacity additions in 2016, compared to 64 per cent in 2015.
  • Renewable electricity generation increased 13.5 per cent in 2016. Solar electricity generation increased by 52.1 per cent (23.3 terawatt-hours), wind electricity generation increased by 18.8 per cent (35.8 terawatt-hours), and hydropower generation increased by 6.7 per cent (16.7 terawatt-hours). 
  • The combined share of wind and solar generation (294 terawatt-hours) continued to grow in the USA in 2016, exceeding hydropower generation (266 terawatt-hours) for the first time. Hydropower produced nearly 42 per cent of total renewable electricity generation, wind produced more than 35 per cent, solar (photovoltaic and concentrating solar power) produced nearly 11 per cent, biopower produced nearly 10 per cent, and geothermal produced nearly 3 per cent.
  • Wind electricity installed capacity increased by more than 11 per cent (8.1 gigawatts) in the year, accounting for more than 40 per cent of U.S. renewable electricity capacity installed in 2016.
  • In 2016, California continued with the most installed renewable electricity capacity of any U.S. state (nearly 35 gigawatts), followed by Washington (nearly 25 gigawatts) and Texas (more than 22 gigawatts). California has a diverse mix of renewables led by solar photovoltaic, hydropower and wind. In Washington, the main contributor to renewable capacity is hydropower, while wind is the largest contributor in Texas.   

Published annually by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on behalf of the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Renewable Energy Data Book presents US and global energy statistics compiled from numerous data sources, and includes renewable electricity generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and technology-specific data.

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