For decades, hydropower has been the dominant renewable energy resource. In 2004, hydropower accounted for three times the generation of all nonhydro renewable generation combined (i.e., wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, and municipal solid waste). With recent robust growth in wind and solar, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects 2014 will be the first year that annual nonhydro renewable generation exceeds annual hydropower generation.
The oft used disclaimer of “nonhydro renewables” may soon be retired. Not counting distributed PV, nonhydro renewables have crossed a significant threshold in materiality. However, with their intermittent nature, the operational complexity grid operators must manage to integrate these resources has also grown in materiality.
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