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Renewables exceed 20.1% of US electricity in H1, neck-and-neck with nuclear

Illinois wind farm. Author: Tom. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic.

August 27 (Renewables Now) - Renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for 20.1%, or a fifth, of net domestic electrical generation during the first half of 2019, shows a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of recently-released data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

That share has increased from 19.9% a year earlier. The fresh figures were released in EIA's "Electric Power Monthly," which contains data through June 30, 2019.

According to the statistics, both wind and solar witnessed continued growth. Production from solar parks, including small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, rose by 10.5% in annual terms and accounted for 2.7% of the nation's total net generation. Small-scale solar, such as distributed rooftop systems enjoyed a 19.9% increase and was responsible for 32.7% of the total solar electrical generation.

Generation from wind parks in the six months climbed by 0.9% and topped that provided by hydropower by 0.4%. Wind's share was 7.8% of total electrical output, as compared to 7.7% from hydropower.

Combined, wind and solar accounted for 10.5% of US power production through the end of June. In addition, biomass provided 1.5% and geothermal contributed a bit more than 0.4%.

Renewable power production in the six-month period ran neck-and-neck with that from nuclear power, which stood at 400,005 GWh and accounted for 20.14% of the total domestic electrical output. Renewables, meanwhile, were responsible for 20.11% of the total by producing 399,585 GWh.

Also in January-June, renewables further closed the gap with coal. A year ago, renewables provided 74.6% as much electricity as coal. However, growth in renewable electrical output coupled with a 13.2% drop in that of coal has resulted in renewables generating 85.0% as much electricity as coal during the first half of 2019.

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NOTE: The figures cited above include EIA's "estimated small-scale solar photovoltaic" which totaled 17,520 GWh for the first six months of 2019.

EIA's statistics are available at:

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_es1a

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_es1b

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Ken Bossong is Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organiсation promoting sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.

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