14% Of Our Energy Was Clean In First Half Of 2013

Renewable energy provided over 14% of America’s electric power in the first half of 2013, according to the US Government.

A total of 14.2% of US power was generated by non-hydro renewables during the first six months of the year, as revealed in the August issue of Electric Power Monthly, which is published by the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA).

california solar records

Big new plants like Alpine Solar in Lancaster have helped California solar power generation skyrocket (image via NRG Energy)

Based on the data for June 2013, the report concludes that comparing the first half of 2013 to the same period in 2012:

  • solar thermal and photovoltaic power grew 56.9%
  • wind increased by 15.3%
  • geothermal grew 3.4%

Looking back further, the report also reveals a tripling of output from non-hydro renewables in the past decade, at 7.71% from 2.05% ten years ago. The total almost matches the share of electrical generation from hydropower for the same period, which reached 7.49%.

Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, comments: “The growth of renewable energy over the past several years has been remarkable, and with the right policies in place at the federal level, the potential for further growth will be much greater.”

theclimate-groupEditor’s Note: EarthTechling is proud to repost this article courtesy of The Climate Group. Author credit goes to Maria Mateeva.

The Climate Group is an independent, not-for-profit organization working to inspire and catalyze leadership for a Clean Revolution: a low carbon future that is smarter, better and more prosperous. For all.

  • Jerry Graf

    From review of the data presented in Table ES1.B of the EIA report, I believe you are overstating the contribution of the renewable energy sources by a factor of 2.

    The table lists the June 2013 YTD contribution of “Other Renewables as 131,456 Thousand Megawatthours. It defines “Other Renewables” as including Wood and Wood-Derived Fuels, Other Biomass, Geothermal, Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic, and Wind.

    The table also breaks out individual values for wood and wood derivative, other biomass, geothermal, solar thermal and photovoltaic, and wind. However, if one looks closely, these individual numbers add up to the total of $131,456 Thousand Megawatthours.

    Also, the grand total for June 2013 YTD from all sources is given as 1,960,395 Thousand Megawatthours; and this figure includes only the 131,456 Thousand Megawatthours for “Other Renewables”.

    The renewable contribution for June 2013 YTD was 131,456 Megawatthours over a total of 1,960,395 Thousand Megawatthours.

    This is a contribution of less than 7%, not 14%.

    • Pete Danko

      You’re right, Jerry. If you add up Coal, Petroleum Liquids, Petroleum Coke, Natural Gas, Other Gas, Nuclear and Hydroelectric Conventional, you get 1,824,901 thousands MWh. That’s 93 percent of the total from all energy sources, leaving 7 percent for non-hydro renewables.

      Honestly, the story makes no sense, because after saying “A total of 14.2% of US power was generated by non-hydro renewables during the first six months of the year,” it goes on to say, “the report also reveals a tripling of output from non-hydro renewables in the past decade, at 7.71% from 2.05% ten years ago.”

      • Jerry Graf

        From the EIA report, if you add hydro into the renewable total, then you get 14.2%. Seems like the error was referring to this as “non-hydro renewables”, when they meant renewables including hydro.

        The way the renewable information is presented in the EIA report is confusing.

        • Pete Danko

          Agreed, the EIA report should make it clear that the items following “Other Renewables” are subsets of that broader category.

  • http://www.energyhealthcheck.com/ stacy

    I wonder how that compares to the rest of the world. I think i read somewhere that Germany is the leader in green energy.