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Energy By The Numbers: An Energy Revolution

For decades, America has anticipated the transformational impact of clean energy technologies.  As the federal government and industry made long-term investments to support those technologies, some critics became impatient, claiming a clean energy future would “always be five years away.”  Today, the clean energy future has arrived. 

WIND ENERGY

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Wind power surged in 2015 with capacity growing by 12% since 2014, representing 41% of all new capacity installed in the U.S. last year. As of 2015, there were nearly 74,000 megawatts  of utility-scale wind power deployed across 41 states and territories -- enough to generate electricity for more than 17 million households.

UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR

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Utilities and the power sector are installing more utility-scale PV, as the installation cost of utility-scale PV has steadily declined year after year, falling over 64% since 2008. This drop in cost has enabled explosive growth with total capacity reaching more than 13,900 MW in 2015, a growth of 43% over 2014. 

Solar PV: Distributed Generation 

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Over 3,110 MW of distributed systems were installed in 2015, a 34% increase over 2014. This year, the millionth distributed PV system was installed, an indication of how widespread this technology has become.  

LED LIGHTING

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In one year, total installations of common home LED bulbs more than doubled from 77 million to 202 million—a particularly rapid growth considering there used to be fewer than 400,000 installations as recently as 2009. 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

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Americans bought over 115,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in 2015, more than double the number purchased in 2012 despite sustained low gasoline prices. This brought the total number of EVs on the U.S. roads to over 400,000
by the end of 2015. 

 

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