US wind and solar electricity generation grew by 20,659 MWh in 2015, compared to the full year 2014. That’s compared to fossil fuel electricity generation dropping by 18,041 MWh. Unfortunately, in part due to terrible drought, hydroelectricity generation dropped 8,199 MWh.
Percentagewise, the total split by energy source for 2015 was:
- coal — 33%
- natural gas — 32.5%
- nuclear — 19.4%
- hydro — 6.1%
- wind — 4.7%
- wood and wood-derived fuels — 1%
- solar (all types) — 0.9%
As reported last month, 69% of new electricity generation capacity in 2015 came from renewables. Meanwhile, 80% of retired electricity generation capacity was coal power capacity. The story could be even better in 2016. Nonetheless, the US power system is gigantic, and transitioning from dirty energy to clean renewables is quite a long process.
Still, it is happening. In 2014, solar and wind accounted for 5.1% of electricity generation. In 2015, they accounted for 5.6%. And just in December, they accounted for 6.9%, compared to 5.3% in December 2014.
For more info, check out the table and charts below. (For the charts, be sure to note which tab is selected.)
Source of data: US EIA