According to the latest figures published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its Electric Power Monthly report, renewable sources of electricity enjoyed significant growth during the past year, while nuclear and coal both experienced notable declines.
Specifically, EIA reports that net electricity generation in the U.S. dropped by 0.9% from November 2007 to November 2008. This was the fourth consecutive month that net generation was down compared to the same calendar month in 2007.
The drop in coal-fired generation was the largest absolute fuel-specific decline from November 2007 to November 2008, falling by 2.7%.
Nuclear generation was down by 2.3% and was second only to coal-fired generation in its contribution to the national drop in net generation. The biggest drop in generation at a nuclear plant was at the Millstone facility in Connecticut, which was down for part of the month for a refueling outage.
On the other hand, EIA figures show that renewable energy, including conventional hydropower, increased by 7.3% – reflecting a combined increase of 6.1% in conventional hydropower coupled with a 10% increase in non-hydro renewables (i.e., solar, wind, geothermal, biomass).
In particular, according to EIA, net generation from wind sources was 42.4% higher than it had been in November 2007. The higher wind generation totals in Texas, California, Minnesota and Illinois accounted for 53.1% of the national rise.
Conventional hydroelectric power provided 6.4% of total U.S. net electricity generation, while other renewables (biomass, geothermal, solar and wind) and other miscellaneous energy sources generated the remaining 3.1% of electric power.
SOURCE: SUN DAY Campaign