U.S. Renewable Energy Growth Continued in 2015

Feb. 23, 2017

Increases in solar, wind and other clean energy generation and installation.

Renewable electricity generation grew to 16.7% of total installed capacity and 13.8% of total electricity generation during 2015, according to the Renewable Energy Data Book.

Published annually by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on behalf of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the data book includes national and international energy statistics such as renewable electricity generation, renewable energy development, clean energy investments and technology-specific data and trends.

“Since it was first released in 2009, the Renewable Energy Data Book has provided useful insights for policymakers, analysts and investors,” says Philipp Beiter, Energy Analyst at NREL. “The 2015 version of the data book highlights the ongoing trend of growing renewable energy capacity and generation in the U.S. and globally.”

Insights in the data book include:

  • Renewable electricity accounted for 64% of U.S electricity capacity additions in 2015, compared to 52% in 2014.
  • Renewable electricity generation increased 2.4%. Solar increased by 35.8% (to 11.7 terawatt-hours), and wind electricity generation increased by 5.1% (9.3 terawatt-hours).
  • Wind electricity installed capacity improved by more than 12% (8.1 gigawatts), accounting for more than 56% of U.S. renewable electricity capacity installed in 2015.
  • Solar electricity installed capacity rose by 36% (5.6 gigawatts), accounting for nearly 40% of newly installed U.S. renewable electricity capacity in 2015.
  • California, Washington and Texas led the U.S. in installed renewable electricity capacity.
  • Oklahoma, North Carolina, Utah and Kansas had the highest growth rates in installed renewable electricity capacity.
  • Installed renewable electricity capacity climbed to more than 29% of total electricity capacity worldwide in 2015.

For more information, visit the EERE’s blog at

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