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When you mention the words “renewable energy,” most people immediately think of wind and solar. Over the last decade, renewables in the United States (excluding hydropower) have more than tripled.
In 2009, renewables reached 53 gigawatts of installed capacity. Renewables have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent since 2000.
It’s no big secret that wind and solar are the fastest-growing renewable sectors. In 2009 alone, wind installations here grew by 39 percent and solar PW grew by nearly 52 percent.
Even with these heady growth figures, renewables represent a very small percentage of our overall installed electrical generation capacity: about 4.7 percent as of the end of 2009.
The renewable that’s garnered the least amount of attention in America’s three-year push to renewables is geothermal energy. In stark contrast to the growth figures for solar and wind, geothermal has grown a mere 1.2 percent annually from 2000 to 2009.
In spite of those dismal growth figures, the United States leads the world in geothermal installed capacity at about 15.2 GW as of the end of 2009. Most of that is installed in California.
Continue reading: Geothermal Power
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