News

SunDay: Renewables Now 16.6% US Electric Supply

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN

(a campaign for a sustainable energy future)

6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite #340; Takoma Park, MD 20912

301-270-6477 x.11

sun-day-campaign@hotmail.com

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News Advisory

 

MID-YEAR REPORT:

 

RENEWABLE SOURCES ARE 16.6 PERCENT OF U.S. ELECTRICITY

 

WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY INCREASE 25 PERCENT

 

WIND ALMOST 6 PERCENT OF TOTAL; SOLAR TOPS 1 PERCENT

 

COAL PLUNGES MORE THAN 20 PERCENT

 

For Release:  Friday - August 26, 2016

 

Contact:  Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.11 

  

Washington DC – Continuing to defy projections, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources have set a series of records for domestic electrical generation during the first half of 2016.

 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) latest, just-released "Electric Power Monthly" report (with data for the first six months of 2016), net U.S. electrical generation from non-hydro utility-scale renewables (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) increased by 17.0% compared to the first half of 2015. Output from conventional hydropower also rose by 11.8%. Combined, generation from all utility-scale renewable sources increased by 14.5% in January-June 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

 

Further, utility-scale electrical generation from renewable sources hit an all-time high of nearly 17% (16.55%) of total domestic generation. During the first half of 2015, renewable energy's share of net generation  was only 14.09%.

 

Electrical generation by utility-scale wind rose 23.5% and set a new six-month record of 5.96% of total generation. In the first half of 2015, wind power's share was only 4.70%. EIA data does not include additional generation provided by distributed small-scale wind resources.

 

Similarly, electrical generation from utility-scale solar thermal and photovoltaics grew by 30.3% to 16,906 thousand megawatt-hours and comprised 0.87% of total utility-scale electrical output. However, EIA also estimates that distributed solar photovoltaics (e.g., rooftop solar systems) expanded by 34.3% and accounted for an additional 7,845 thousand megawatt-hours. Combined, utility-scale and distributed solar accounted for over one percent (1.26%) of generation. A year ago, solar's share was only 0.94%.

 

Together, wind and solar (including distributed solar) grew by almost 25% (24.8%) during the first six months of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015 and are now providing almost as much electrical generation as conventional hydropower (140,972 vs. 151,064 thousand megawatt-hours).

 

Among renewable energy sources, only biomass and geothermal experienced declines of 3.0% and 1.6% respectively.

 

In stark contrast to the stunning growth rate of renewable sources, coal-generated electricity plummeted by 20.1% and nuclear power remained essentially stagnant - registering growth of only 1.0%. Electrical generation fueled by natural gas was up by 7.7%. 

 

"Renewable energy's share of net electrical generation for the balance of 2016 may dip a little because electrical output from wind and hydropower sources tends to be highest during the first six months of each year," noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. "Nonetheless, the data thus far is swamping EIA's earlier forecast of just 9.5% growth by renewables in 2016." 

 

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The latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" was released on August 24, 2016.  It can be found at:  http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly. See Table ES1.B for the data cited in this release. EIA's recent projection of only 9.5% growth in renewables in 2016 can be found in the January 2016 issue of its "Short-Term Energy Outlook" at:  http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/archives/jan16.pdf; see page 13.
 

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The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1992 to aggressively promote sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.