Renewable energy sources continue to expand rapidly while substantially outpacing the growth rates of fossil fuels and nuclear power, according to the Monthly Energy Review by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Looking at the electricity sector, according to the EIA data, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, water wind) provided 12.73% of net US electrical generation. This represents an increase of 24.73% compared to the same 9-month period in 2010.
By comparison, electrical generation from coal dropped by 4.2% while nuclear output declined by 2.8%. Natural gas electrical generation rose by 1.6%.
Conventional hydropower accounted for 8.21% of net electrical generation during the first 9 months of 2011 – an increase of 29.6% compared to 2010. Non-hydro renewable energy accounted for 4.52% of net electrical generation.
Compared to the first three quarters of 2010, solar-generated electricity expanded in 2011 by 46.5%; wind by 27.1%, geothermal by 9.4%, and biomass by 1.3%.
“Notwithstanding the recession of the past three years, renewable energy sources have experienced explosive rates of growth that other industries can only envy. The investments in sustainable energy made by the federal government as well as state and private funders have paid off handsomely.''
Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign.