Published on March 10th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan29
Renewable Energy = 13.4% Of US Electricity Generation In 2014 (Exclusive)
March 10th, 2015 by Zachary Shahan
Following up on our latest renewable energy capacity report, below are US electricity generation numbers for December 2014, 2014 as a whole, and 2013.
As stated in the title, renewables contributed 13.4% of all US electricity generation in 2014, when I add in a CleanTechnica estimate for rooftop solar (that is, solar PV projects under 1 megawatt in size… which are primarily rooftop solar power projects). The figure in 2013 was 13%, so the basic news is… we’re inching forward.
It’s not surprising that the share of electricity coming from renewables is growing, as solar and wind accounted for 55% of new electricity generation capacity in 2014, 36% in 2013, and 51% in 2012. However, it may come across as depressingly slow when you compare to those capacity addition percentages noted above. One thing to remember is that we have a huge base of existing power plants pumping out electricity almost every day. No matter what electricity sources we switch to, it is going to take time to replace those and greatly shift our electricity profile. Also, remember that wind and solar have relatively low capacity factors, so the share of electricity generation capacity coming from renewables is almost always going to look bigger than the share of actual electricity coming from renewables.
Some more takeaway points follow the charts (and, by the way, note that you can click between three different charts in the interactive widget below):
Other key facts/takeaways from this month’s electricity generation report include:
- In December, 13.5% of US electricity came from renewables.
- Solar & wind together accounted for 5.2% of US electricity in 2014.
- Solar & wind together accounted for 4.8% of US electricity in December 2014.
- Solar & wind together accounted for 4.3% of US electricity in 2013.
- Electricity from wind power was up 13,951 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Electricity from solar PV power was up 13,723 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Electricity from hydropower was down 9,807 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Electricity from nuclear power was up 8,051 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Electricity from petroleum liquids was up 4,888 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Electricity from coal power was up 4,582 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Electricity from wood and wood-derived fuels was up 3,022 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
- Electricity from natural gas was down 2,908 GWh in 2014 compared to 2013.
All Sources of Electricity
I think that’s it from me. But if you drop a comment below, I may find something more to contribute.
Note: The source of most of the data discusses above is the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). I estimate “rooftop solar” electricity generation based largely on historical capacity data and estimates from GTM Research.