According to the most recent Monthly Energy Review by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable energy has passed a milestone, as domestic production is now greater than that of nuclear power and is closing in on oil, the SUN DAY Campaign reports.
During the first quarter of this year, renewable energy sources (biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, water and wind) provided 2.245 quadrillion Btus of energy, or 11.73% of U.S. energy production. Energy production from renewable energy sources this year was 5.65% more than that from nuclear power, which provided 2.125 quadrillion Btus and has remained largely unchanged in recent years. Energy from renewable sources is now 77.15% of that from domestic crude oil production, with the gap closing rapidly.
In terms of actual production, renewable electrical output increased by 25.82% in the first three months of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2010. Solar-generated electricity increased by 104.8%, wind-generated electricity rose by 40.3%, hydropower output expanded by 28.7% and geothermal electrical generation rose by 5.8%.
Only electricity from biomass sources dropped – by 4.8%. By comparison, natural-gas electrical output rose by 1.8%, and nuclear-generated electricity increased by only 0.4% – coal-generated electricity dropped by 5.7%.