Emissions-producing diesel trucks and cars pass non-polluting windmills along the 10 freeway on December 8, 2009 near Banning, California.
Photograph by David McNew—Getty Images
By Claire Groden
February 4, 2016

2015 was a big year for clean energy.

Renewable energy accounted for the majority of new power added to the U.S. power grids last year—marking the second year in a row that clean energy surpassed fossil fuels, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

Renewable energy has enjoyed a boost from government incentives and declining systems costs.

Clean energy investments also rose 7.5% from the year before to $56 billion. Ten years earlier, in 2005, renewable investments barely amounted to more than $15 billion. More than half of last year’s amount went toward solar energy projects, while wind attracted $11.6 billion in investments.

Corporate procurement of clean energy contined to grow: It doubled from 2013 to 2014 and again from 2014 to 2015. Major corporate buyers included tech giants Google (goog), Amazon (amzn), Facebook (fb), and Apple(aapl).

Coal, meanwhile, emerged as the main loser of the year. As a record number of coal plants closed, domestic coal production continued its steady decline since 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration.


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