Renewable energy sources, particularly solar, wind, and biofuels, continue to make gains when it comes to the share of energy produced and used in this country. According to SUN DAY Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organization, the latest numbers from U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows through the first half of this year, renewable energy made up 10 percent of U.S. energy consumption, 12 percent of domestic production and 14 percent of net electrical generation.
Compared to the same time frame in 2012, overall renewable energy production, including conventional hydropower, was 2.00% higher while production from non-hydro renewables grew by 4.13%. Specifically, solar grew by 32.46% in 2013, wind by 20.14%, geothermal by 0.89%, and biomass by 0.42%. Hydropower slipped by 2.59% and biofuels by 5.92%.
Among the renewable energy sources, hydropower’s share during the first half of 2013 was 30.18%, biomass 25.26%, biofuels 20.18%, wind 18.80%, solar 3.19%, and geothermal 2.39%.
Production from all renewable energy sources, including conventional hydropower, is about 60% higher in 2013 than it was in 2003 while production from non-hydro renewable energy sources has more than doubled.
Over the past decade, domestic energy production from wind has increased by a factor of nearly 16 while output from both biofuels and solar is now about five times higher than in 2003. Geothermal has also grown – by about 30% – while biomass and hydropower have remained largely unchanged.
Domestic renewable energy production is outpacing both fossil fuels (11 percent) and nuclear (about 1 percent). Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, says renewables are the real growth industries in the energy market over the past decade.
“If recent trends continue, they will eventually eclipse both fossil fuels and nuclear power.”