Renewable energy industry news roundup: Aug. 29–Sept. 4, 2016
New data shows that renewable energy generation is rising across the board, GE explores the possibility of floating offshore wind farms, and another Colorado city commits to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.
U.S. Renewable Energy Fared Quite Well in H1, Says Report
According to a new report, U.S. renewable energy sources set a series of records for domestic electrical generation during the first half of this year. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), generation from all utility-scale renewable sources increased by 14.5 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2015. Electrical generation by utility-scale wind rose 23.5 percent, while electrical generation from utility-scale solar thermal and photovoltaics grew by 30.3 percent. Together, wind and solar (including distributed solar) grew by almost 25 percent during the first six months of 2016 compared with the first half of 2015.
Floating Offshore Wind Turbines Could be the Renewable Energy of the Future
GE Renewable Energy has labeled floating offshore wind turbines as the renewable energy of the future. The company is in business to develop floating wind farms, working with French naval shipbuilding and energy company DCNS, together developing an offshore wind turbine floating system that could avoid many of the challenges experienced by offshore wind developers, including the need to build offshore wind farms in waters only up to 60 meters in depth and the natural unpredictability of wind and waves.
Boulder, Colorado recently announced that it would commit to being powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, making it the 17th U.S. city to make such a pledge. If Boulder successfully transitions to 100 percent renewable-sourced electricity, it would be the second city in Colorado to do so — in 2015, Aspen began powering all buildings in the city with renewable energy. Currently, three U.S. cities — Aspen as well as Burlington, Vermont, and Greensburg, Kansas — obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.
U.S. Wind Power Surpasses 75 GW, Gains Approval Among Voters
The amount of installed wind capacity across the United States has tripled over the last eight years, and people are taking notice. Recent polls show U.S. voters like what they see in wind energy. Nationally, 70 percent of registered voters have a favorable impression of wind energy. Support for wind energy is especially high in areas where wind energy has grown most — a poll surveying voters in Iowa’s Third District found 91 percent support wind energy, while another survey found 85 percent of registered Texas voters support increasing clean energy like wind power.