renewable energy sources provided 11.37% of domestic U.S. energy production in June 2009 - the latest month for which data has been published. And renewable energy sources provided 11.18 percent of net U.S. electrical generation for the first six months of 2009.
SUN DAY CAMPAIGN
RENEWABLE SOURCES NOW EXCEED 11 PERCENT
OF BOTH DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION
AND NET ELECTRICAL GENERATION
GROWTH RATE CONTINUES TO OUTPACE
NUCLEAR AND FOSSIL FUELS
For Immediate Release: September 26, 2009
Contact: Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.11
Washington DC -- According to the latest issue of the "Monthly Energy Review" by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable energy sources (i.e., biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind) provided 11.37 percent of domestic U.S. energy production in June 2009 - the latest month for which data has been published. And according to EIA's latest "Electric Power Monthly," renewable energy sources provided 11.18 percent of net U.S. electrical generation for the first six months of 2009.
This continues the steady growth trend for renewable energy. Renewable energy sources accounted for 9.89 percent of domestic energy production during the first half of 2007. That increased to 10.20 percent for the first half of 2008. For the first six months of 2009, renewables totaled 10.67 percent of domestic energy production, rising to 11.32 percent for the second quarter of this year, and - as noted - edging up to 11.37 percent in June 2009.
Likewise, the 11.18 percent share of net U.S. electrical generation provided by renewable energy sources for the first six months of 2009 represents a significant increase over the 9.90 percent share provided during the first half of 2008.
Moreover, renewable energy's contribution to the nation's energy production is now almost equal to that provided by nuclear power, which has been holding steady in recent years at about 11 percent (11.38 percent for the first half of 2009, 11.24 percent for the first half of 2008, and 11.66 percent for the first half of 2007).
Renewable energy sources grew by 4.62 percent during the first half of 2009 compared to the first half of 2008 - an increase of 0.173 quadrillion Btu's. Most of that growth came from wind and hydropower which expanded by 24.54 percent and 7.14 percent respectively during the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. Biomass (comprised of roughly 61 percent wood + wood waste and 39 percent biofuels) grew by 0.63 percent; the growth reflects a 13.43 percent increase in biofuels production. The contributions from solar and geothermal remained essentially unchanged.
By comparison, nuclear power increased by only 1.38 percent while domestic fossil fuel production actually dropped by 0.70 percent (and overall consumption of fossil fuels - including imports - declined 7.67 percent).
"As Congress debates energy funding priorities and climate legislation, it would do well to take note of the clear trends in the nation's changing energy mix," said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. "Renewable energy has become a major player - growing rapidly and nipping at the heels of nuclear power - while fossil fuel use continues to drop."
For the first half of 2009, the mix of renewable energy sources was dominated by biomass and hydropower - accounting for 48.91 percent and 36.81 percent respectively while wind, geothermal, and solar, in turn, provided 8.68 percent, 4.44 percent, and 1.15 percent of the total.
In the electricity sector only, conventional hydropower accounted for 7.63 percent of net U.S. electrical generation while non-hydro renewables accounted for 3.55 percent (for a total of 11.18 percent). Total net electrical generation from hydropower during the first half of 2009 was 7.16 percent higher than for the first half of 2008 while the output from non-hydro renewables was 7.60 percent higher during the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008.
On the other hand, overall net U.S. electrical generation was 4.96% lower for the first half of 2009 compared to the first half of 2008 with coal-generated electricity dropping by 13.76 percent while electricity from natural gas and nuclear power increased by only 1.86 percent and 1.38 percent respectively.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released the "Monthly Energy Review" on September 24, 2009. It can be found at: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mer/overview.html. The relevant tables from which the data above are extrapolated are Tables 1.1, 1.2, and 10.1. EIA released its most recent "Electric Power Monthly" on September 11, 2009; see: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epm_sum.html. The most relevant chart is Table 1.1 "Net Generation by Energy Source."
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The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1993 to promote sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.