The use of renewable energy for electricity generation in the United States dropped by almost 12 percent last year, according to the latest government statistics.
WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-04-19 <SolarAccess.com> Renewables generated 358,606 million kilowatt-hours (net) in 2000, down from 406,322 in 1999, according to the Electric Power Monthly from the Energy Information Administration. The March data contain the annual statistics for last year. The big drop was from the largest source of renewables, hydroelectricity, which went from 319,484 million kWh to 274,600. Biomass dropped from 64,689 to 64,018, geothermal went from 16,813 to 14,197 and solar PV went from 848 to 844 million kWh. Wind was the only renewable energy to buck the decline, rising from 4,488 to 4,947 million kWh over the two years. In 2000, total U.S. net generation of electricity was 3,792 billion kWh, 2 percent higher than 1999. Fifty-two percent was generated by coal, with nuclear providing 20 percent, 16 percent from natural gas and 3 percent from petroleum. Hydro provided 7 percent while renewables generated 2 percent. Generation from coal, nuclear and gas was higher than in 1999, by 4, 4 and 7 percent, respectively. Utilities generated 3,009 billion kWh (76 percent of total) and nonutility producers generated 782 billion kWh (24 percent). At utilities, fossil fuels account for 70 percent of net generation, followed by nuclear at 23 and renewables at 7 percent. For nonutilities, fossil fuels account for 79 percent of generation, 11 percent from renewables and 11 percent from nuclear. Nonutilities used geothermal to generate 14,046 million kWh, wind for 4,925 and PV for 842 million kWh. Utilities were 151, 23 and 2.5 million kWh respectively. EIA is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy.