Renewable energy overtakes nuclear in the US

Figures just released by the US Energy Information Administration have revealed that renewable energy surpassed nuclear energy in the US for the first time in 2011.

The EIA’s figures cover the first nine months of 2011. report that while nuclear staged a post-Fukushima comeback, accounting for 10.62 per cent of the US’ energy mix, it was still down from 2010ࢀ²s figure of 11.3 per cent. Renewables, on the other hand, held strong at 12 per cent, up from 10.9per cent in 2010.

Analysing the report a Washington Post blog noted that (despite the performance of renewables) “wind and solar are nowhere close to overtaking nuclear power,” with the “vast bulk of ‘renewable’ power in the United States still com[ing] from large-scale hydropower (4.35 percent), biomass (3.15 percent) and biofuels (2.57 percent).”

The article goes on to predict that the story may well shift as the nuclear industry continues to retire plants. With all prime HEP sites now taken, wind and solar will be more influential.à‚ 

Evidence of this is cited by the performance of these renewables last year -“Solar and wind were by far the fastest-growing energy sources (in the US) in 2011 ࢀ” solar electricity grew 46.5 percent and wind by 27.1 percent.”

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