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February 8, 2016

Hydropower Getting Surpassed by Wind, Solar and Other Renewables


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

This year will be the first in which other renewable forms of generation produce more electricity than hydropower, the Energy Information Administration reports. Hydropower has provided a steady 20 to 30 billion kilowatt hours per month over the past decade, while the contribution from wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables has climbed from less than a third of that.

While wind capacity jumped 10-fold overt the past decade, hydropower capacity increased just 1 percent — although the Energy Department is looking at ways to tap into potential new hydro projects.

Factoring in rooftop solar panels, the other renewables already outperform hydropower, as the administration made its calculations without considering the estimated 10 billion kilowatt hours from smaller distributed solar systems.

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