Renewable Electricity Use Continues to Grow in 2009

Joanna Schroeder

geothermalNon-hydro sources of electricity continues to gain market share according to the latest statistics published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its “Electric Power Monthly” report released on June 15, 2009. The even better news is while renewable energy is growing, coal and natural gas use in steadily decreasing (five and four percent respectively) while nuclear power has remained virtually stagnant.

When comparing the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2008, renewable energy sources used for electrical production increased by 7.2 percent and accounted for 10 percent of the nation’s electrical generation. Conventional hydroelectric power increased by 4.6 percent while all other renewables combined (biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar) increased by 12.4 percent. When comparing 2009 to 2008 renewable resources have been and continue to be on a steady uphill trajactory.

“Apologists for the nuclear and fossil fuel industries persist in trying to mislead the public by repeatedly spreading the myth that renewables account for only a tiny fraction of U.S. electricity production,” comments Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign.  “However, the hard numbers document the continuing dramatic growth in renewable energy’s already-significant contribution to the nation’s electricity supply – a contribution that will eventually leave coal and nuclear behind in the dust.”

As 2009 continues, the momenteum continues to gain traction as renewables accounted for nearly 10.9 percent of net U.S. electrical generation in March 2009. Conventional hydroelectric power provided more than 6.9 percent of total U.S. electrical generation while other renewables generated almost four percent of electric power. Most notably, net generation from wind sources was 38.5 percent higher in March 2009 than it had been in March 2008.

Energy, News