US Renewable Energy Production Increases 7.4%

According an analysis of the latest “Monthly Energy Review” issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on November 24, 2008 from the Sun Day Campaign, renewable energy accounted for almost 11 percent of the domestically-produced energy used in the United States in the first eight months of 2008.

For the period January 1 – August 31, 2008, the United States consumed 67.550 quadrillion Btus (quads) of energy – of which 45.428 quads was from domestic sources and 22.122 quads was imported. Domestically-produced renewable energy (biomass/biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) totaled 4.886 quads, an amount equal to 10.76% of U.S. energy consumption that is domestically-produced.

This share is only slightly less than the contribution from nuclear power (12.39%). And while consumption of nuclear power dropped slightly during the first eight months of 2008, compared to the same period for 2007 (5.629 quads, down from 5.637 quads), domestic renewable energy production’s share increased by more than seven percent (4.886 quads, up from 4.549 quads).

Biomass and biofuels combined presently constitute the largest source of renewable energy in the United States (2.554 quads) followed by hydropower (1.916 quads). Wind power, however, experienced the largest growth rate, increasing by almost 45% compared to the first eight months of 2007 (0.300 quads, up from 0.207 quads). Solar’s and geothermal’s contributions were at roughly the same levels in 2008 as they were in 2007 – although both are poised to greatly expand their market share in the near future.

“The significant contribution being made by renewable energy sources to the nation’s energy supply documented by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is far greater than most Americans realize,” said Ken Bossong, executive director of the Sun Day Campaign. “Repeated statements by nuclear and fossil fuel interests that renewables contribute only a tiny fraction of the nation’s energy supply are not only misleading but flatly wrong.”

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