Wind energy beat out natural gas as the most installed energy source by capacity in the U.S. in 2012, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The country brought 10,689 MW of wind online last year from 164 units. Natural gas accounted for 8,746 MW from 94 units, followed by eight units of coal at 4,510 MW, solar at 1,476 MW through 240 units and 100 units of biomass at 543 MW. Geothermal was 149 MW in 2012 with 13 new units, then nuclear with 125 MW in one unit, water at 99 MW through 13 units, oil at 49 MW through 19 units and waste heat at 3 MW through one unit.
To date, the U.S. installed a total of 491.82 GW of natural gas, or 42.5 percent of total capacity, followed by coal at 337.71 GW, or 29.2 percent of total capacity. Nuclear accounted for 9.2 percent of capacity at 107.01 MW, followed by water at 8.5 percent of capacity and 98.12 GW and wind with slightly less than 5 percent of total capacity with 57.53 MW installed.
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