Non-Hydro Renewables Grow More than 6 Percent

Thomas Schueneman

First two-thirds 2019: Electricity from non-hydro renewable increased 6.2%, provided 11.4% of total U.S. production. Solar expands 13.7% - tops 2.7% of total. Wind grows by 4.4%. Coal-fired generation plummets nearly 14 percent

Renewable energy in the U.S. continues it's expansion

Solar and wind expand, nuclear shows slight decline, coal continues its retreat. The latest from the Energy Information Administration as reported by the Sun Day Campaign

For Release: Monday - October 28, 2019

Washington DC – Renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for 18.49 percent of net domestic electrical generation during the first eight months of 2019, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of just-released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). A year earlier, renewables' share was 17.95 percent.

The latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" (with data through August 31, 2019) reveals that solar and wind both showed continued growth.

Solar, including small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, grew 13.7 percent compared to the first eight months of 2018 and accounted for a bit more than 2.7 percent of total electrical output. Small-scale solar (e.g., distributed rooftop systems) - which increased by 19.1 percent - provided nearly a third (32.6 percent) of total solar electrical generation. The growth rate of distributed solar was greater than that of any other energy source.

In addition, U.S. wind-generated electricity increased by 4.4 percent, accounting for 6.94 percent of all electricity generated.

Combined, wind and solar accounted for almost a tenth (9.64 percent) of U.S. electrical generation through the end of August. In addition, biomass provided 1.4% (increasing by 2.5%) and geothermal contributed almost 0.4 percent (reflecting 3.2 percent growth).

In total, non-hydro renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) accounted for 11.44 percent of total U.S. electrical production during the first two-thirds of 2019 and grew by 6.15 percent compared to the same eight-month period in 2018.

Notwithstanding a 5.2 percent decrease in hydropower's output, electrical generation by the mix of all renewables, including hydropower, was 1.49 percent higher than a year earlier.

By comparison, nuclear-generated electricity declined by 0.6 percent while that from coal plummeted by 13.9 percent. However, much of the latter was replaced by natural gas which grew by 6.5 percent.

NOTE: The figures cited above include EIA's "estimated small-scale solar photovoltaic" which totaled 24,762 thousand megawatt-hours for the first eight months of 2019.

The latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" was officially released on October 24, 2019.
For the data cited in this news update, see:

The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1992 to aggressively promote 100% reliance on sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels and as a strategy for addressing climate change.


Energy & Economics