The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) organized a briefing about the important and growing role that renewable energy plays in the American energy mix. Renewable energy resources – including water, wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar – are abundant and geographically diverse across the United States, and are used to generate electricity, provide thermal energy, fuel industrial processes, and produce transportation fuels. The deployment of renewable energy technologies has grown rapidly in recent years as their costs have decreased substantially and as the nation looks to meet growing demand, diversify its energy supply, promote energy security, and reduce carbon emissions.
Renewable electricity generation has grown 62 percent since 2001, and in 2011 represented 12.7 percent of total U.S. electricity generation. Furthermore, 12,956 megawatts of renewable energy capacity was installed in 2012, accounting for 49.1 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in the United States. The briefing provided an overview of renewable energy technologies, domestic and international deployment trends, and exciting market and economic conditions.