Published on November 2nd, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan41
Renewable Energy = 10% of US Electricity Generation In August
November 2nd, 2014 by Zachary Shahan
UPDATE November 3: This article (including the top 3 charts and top table) has been updated to correct numbers used for fossil fuel and nuclear sources. I previously used “Table 1.1. Net Generation by Energy Source: Total (All Sectors), 2004-August 2014 (Thousand Megawatthours)” of the EIA’s Electric Power Monthly report for those sources, when I should have used “Table ES1.A. Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics, 2014 and 2013 Net Generation” and “Table ES1.B. Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics, Year-to-Date 2014 and 2013.” Thank you to the readers who caught this. I have also added a graph created by one of our readers that shows net generation by year.
I’m starting a monthly report on US electricity generation, to supplement our reports on US electricity generation capacity. Thanks to a couple of readers for the idea and help gathering the data sources. The above charts include all generation sources, while the below charts only include renewables. There are also respective tables at the bottom of this article. Below the following charts are some renewable energy highlights I picked out.
Water (aka hydropower) is just under 50% of renewables for the year to date (49.79%), probably the first time other renewables have together risen to over 50%. For the past 12 months running, water is down to 48.77% of renewable electricity generation.
Amongst all electricity sources, utility-scale solar power was sitting at .51% of electricity supply in August. (Just remember that this excludes rooftop solar power, or any project under 5 MW in size.) We still have a long way to go.
Of course, wind power is the most mature non-hydro renewable. As such, wind power accounted for 26% of renewable electricity production in August and 33% for the first 8 months of 2014, up from 31% for the same period in 2013. Of all electricity sources, wind provided 2.65% of electricity in August and 4.39% for the first 8 months of the year, up from 4.11% for the same 8 months in 2013.
This is interesting and exciting news, but it shows that we still have a long ways to go to even get to 20% electricity generation from renewables (we’re currently at 10%, counting hydro).
If you compare to the capacity report I just completed (for September, since those data are available earlier), you can see that renewable power capacity accounts for 42% of total US power capacity, compared to that 10% of generation figure. Of course, generation is what really matters.
If you enjoyed this report, check out more CleanTechnica reports.
Data Source: EIA