Renewable energy production has surpassed nuclear energy production in the U.S. according to the latest issue of Monthly Energy Review published by the Energy Information Administration. Production of alternative energy is also beginning to close in on domestic oil production.
During the first three months of 2011, energy produced from renewable energy sources (biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, hydro, wind) generated 2.245 quadrillion Btus of energy equating to 11.73 percent of U.S. energy production. During this same time period, renewable energy production surpassed nuclear energy power by 5.65 percent. In total, energy produced from renewables is 77.15 percent of that from domestic crude oil production.
When looking at all energy sectors, production of renewable energy has increased by a little over 15 percent when compared to first quarter of 2010, and by more than 25 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2009. Of this total, biomass/biofuels accounted for approximately 48 percent of this total followed by hydropower at 35.41 percent, wind at 12.87 percent, geothermal at 2.45 percent and lastly solar at 1.16 percent.
Despite a seemingly low number for solar power, when compared to first quarter last year, solar power has increased by 104.8 percent while wind power increased by 40.3 percent. Hydropower and geothermal energy also increased by 28.7 percent and 5.8 percent respectively. While nuclear energy has seen a slight increase in power generation, for the most part it has remained steady.
“Notwithstanding the recent nuclear accident in Japan, among many others, and the rapid growth in energy and electricity from renewable sources, congressional Republicans continue to press for more nuclear energy funding while seeking deep cuts in renewable energy investments,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “One has to wonder ‘what are these people thinking?’”