Renewables Surge as Percentage of U.S. Electricity
by Emily Bragonier
A recent report from the Energy Information Administration confirms a rapid increase in the percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources, crediting renewables with 11.1% of total U.S. electrical generation. The report covered a 12-month period ending in April 2009 and examined both hydropower and non-hydro renewables, including wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal. According to the findings for absolute output, hydropower generation jumped 8.22%, while non-hydro renewables saw a 12.47% increase over the previous year. Moreover, 4.24% of U.S. electrical output in April came from non-hydro renewables—1.24% higher than the target in the pending Senate energy bill for 2013. Energy conservation also increased, with net electricity generation dropping 5% from April 2008 to April 2009. Conversely, generation from coal, natural gas, and nuclear power declined as much as 13.9%.