Renewable Energy Almost Equals Nuclear Energy in USA

Wind Energy Growth in USEIA Data (12/22/10)

According to the most recent issue of the “Monthly Energy Review” by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “nuclear electric power accounted for 11% of primary energy production and renewable energy accounted for 11% of primary energy production” during the first nine months of 2010 (the most recent period for which data have been released).

More specifically, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, water, and wind) accounted for 10.9% of domestic energy production and increased by 5.7% compared to the same period in 2009. Meanwhile, nuclear power accounted for 11.4% of domestic energy production but provided 0.5% less energy than a year earlier.

And according to EIA’s latest “Electric Power Monthly,” renewable energy sources accounted for 10.18% of U.S. electrical generation during the first three-quarters of 2010. Compared to the same period in 2009, renewables – including hydropower – grew by 2.2%. While conventional hydropower dropped by 5.2%, non-hydro renewable used in electrical generation expanded by 16.8% with geothermal growing by 4.9%, biomass by 5.5%, wind by 27.3%, and solar by 47.1%. Non-hydro renewables accounted for 3.9% of total electrical generation from January 1 – September 30, 2010 — up from 3.5% the year before.

Preliminary data also show that fossil fuels accounted for 78% of primary energy production. Overall, U.S. primary energy production rose by 2% compared with the first nine months of 2009. The report also showed that consumption of oil, including imported oil, has declined due to more fuel-efficient vehicles and because vehicle miles traveled peaked in the U.S. in 2005.

“Members of the incoming Congress are proposing to slash cost-effective funding for rapidly expanding renewable energy technologies while foolishly plowing ever-more federal dollars into the nuclear power black hole,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. The Southern Company was recently provided with $8.4 billion in federal loan guarantees to build two new nuclear reactors. The guarantees could cost taxpayers $8.4 billion should the project later be cancelled due to cost overruns. Congress is considering over $40 billion for new nuclear reactors.

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About Author: John Addison

Founder of the Clean Fleet Report, author of Save Gas, Save the Planet. John writes about electric cars, renewable energy, and sustainability.

2 thoughts on “Renewable Energy Almost Equals Nuclear Energy in USA

  1. John Addison
    December 28, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Ralph, good point. $40 billion would cover a million roofs with solar with $20 billion left over to make 10 million homes more energy efficient.

  2. Ralph
    December 28, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Wonder how much rooftop solar for citizens and small businesses $40 billion would buy?? Wonder how far the price for it (solar) would drop, with that much capital stimulation??
    Ever hear of a radioactive leak from a solar panel??
    Well, after all, they gotta do something in the south to replace the lost revenue from tobacco….
    Sorry, just being a wise guy.

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