EIA reports strong US renewables and gas power performance

Renewable power generation sources performed strongly last year, while coal, oil and nuclear power declined.

According to the latest issue of the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly,” with preliminary data through to December 31, 2012, non-hydro renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) increased by 12.8 per cent last year compared to 2011 and provided 5.4 per cent of net U.S. electrical generation.

While renewables good showing has come at the expense of fossil fuels and nuclear, gas power generation also posted positive figures.
Power generation sources
Gas power expanded by 21.4 per cent to provide 30.3 per cent of net electrical generation.

Solar increased by 138.9 per cent while wind grew 16.6 per cent, geothermal by 9.6 per cent, and biomass (i.e., wood, wood-derived fuels, and other biomass) by 1.6 per cent.

The report also revealed that non-hydro renewables have more than doubled their contribution to the US electrical supply since 2007.

At the same time (2012 compared to 2011), total net U.S. electrical generation dropped by 1.1 per cent with petroleum coke & liquids down by 24.1 per cent, coal by 12.5 per cent, and nuclear by 2.6 per cent.

Coal, which only a decade ago provided more than half the nation’s electricity, fell to 37.4 per cent of net electrical generation while nuclear, for the first time in many years, slipped below 19.0 per cent.

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