EIA: US consumed a record amount of renewables in 2019

Geothermal Yellowstone

In 2019, consumption of renewable energy in the United States grew for the fourth year in a row, reaching a record 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), or 11% of total U.S. energy consumption. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) new U.S. renewable energy consumption by source and sector chart published in the Monthly Energy Review shows how much renewable energy by source is consumed in each sector.

In its most recent Monthly Energy Review, EIA converts sources of energy to common units of heat (Btu) to compare different types of energy that are more commonly measured in units that are not directly comparable, such as gallons of biofuels or kilowatthours (KWh) of wind energy. EIA uses a fossil fuel equivalence to calculate primary energy consumption of noncombustible renewables such as wind, hydro, solar and geothermal.

Wind energy in the United States accounted for about 24% of U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2019. Wind surpassed hydroelectricity to become the most-consumed source of renewable energy on an annual basis in 2019.

Also, wood and waste energy and biomass waste from landfills, accounted for about 24% of U.S. renewable energy use in 2019. Industrial, commercial and electric power facilities use wood and waste as fuel to generate electricity, produce heat and manufacture goods. About 2% of U.S. households used wood as their primary source of heat in 2019.

Hydroelectric power accounted for about 22% of U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2019. U.S. hydropower consumption has remained relatively consistent since the 1960s, but it fluctuates with seasonal rainfall and drought conditions.

Solar energy accounted for about 9% of U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2019 and had the largest percentage growth among renewable sources in 2019. 

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