A report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Energy Projects says that, in 2012, the capacity for renewable energy electrical generation accounted for almost 50% of all new installations for energy projects in the United States. This includes solar, biomass, geothermal, and water-based generation capacity.
On top of making up nearly half of all new installation, renewable energy generation capacity also increased by 51% over the previous year.
However, generation capacity and actual electrical generation are two very different things, and total renewable generation for the year 2012 only amounted to about 13% of total energy production last year in the U.S.
The amount of renewable energy produced in the U.S. last year was slightly less than the global average of 15%, meaning that America is not too far off the mark compared to the rest of the world. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has set a worldwide goal of 30% renewable energy by the year 2030, but they currently remain pessimistic about the ability of countries to achieve that goal, and believe that there could be at least a nine-percentage point deficit between reality and their goal.
So why the pessimism in the face of good news from the U.S.? The answer is shale gas.