Renewable Electricity

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted July 22, 2009

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but 4.24% is a big number for the U.S. renewable energy industry.

That’s the percentage of domestic electric power supply generated from non-hydropower, utility-scale renewable energy resources in April 2009, according to the Department of Energy’s most recent Electric Power Monthly report.

Renewable resources like solar power, geothermal, biomass, and wind energy are all becoming an increasingly important part of the national energy mix, despite declines in total electricity output due to economic weakness.

Even though April was the ninth straight month of declining net generation across all methods reported (-5%), non-hydro renewables increased 18.2% from the end of April 2008 to the same time this year.

And 4.24% is 40% more than the 2013 target of 3% proposed in the current Senate energy bill!

For comparison’s sake, let’s look at the power output change a few traditional generation methods logged from Spring ’08 to ’09.

  • Coal -13.9%
  • Natural gas -1.5%
  • Nuclear +3.5% year-on-year, but March-April 2009 -12%

Net generation from the U.S. wind energy industry skyrocketed in the same year, adding 34.8% onto 2008 net generation totals. The main states responsible for that increase were Texas, Iowa, New York, and Indiana.

You can read the full report on the Energy Information Administration website, here:


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