According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided almost 23% of the nation's electrical generation in 2022.
The latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" report (with data through December 31) reveals that renewable energy sources (including small-scale solar systems)  increased their electrical output by 12.37% last year compared to 2021. By comparison, electrical generation by all energy sources combined grew by just 3.47%.
In 2022, renewables provided 22.58% of total US electrical generation versus 20.79% a year ago. Accordingly, they modestly surpassed EIA's earlier forecast of renewables providing 22% of US electricity in calendar year 2022.
Once again, solar was the fastest growing renewable energy source. Output by solar increased by 24.14% and its share of total US electrical generation for the year was 4.74%. A year earlier, solar's share was 3.95%. Five years ago, it was 1.91% and at the end of 2012, solar's share was only 0.11%.
Electrical generation by wind also expanded significantly - growing by 14.97% and providing over a tenth (10.11%) of total US electrical generation in 2022. Combined, solar and wind contributed nearly 15% (14.85%) of the nation's electrical output last year.
In addition, generation by hydropower grew 4.14% and accounted for 6.09% of the total. Electrical output by geothermal as well as wood and wood-derived fuels also increased by 6.43% and 0.29% respectively. Only generation by "other biomass" fell - by 5.06%.
Taken together, in 2022, renewable energy sources comfortably out-produced both coal and nuclear power by 17.18% and 25.90% respectively. However, natural gas continued to dominate with a 39.27% share of total generation.
Renewables' growing share of US electrical generation last year mirrored their expansion in other sectors such as transportation and heating.
For example, a second EIA report - its "Monthly Energy Review" released last week - reveals that the mix of renewable energy sources, including biofuels, accounted for 13.03% of total US energy production during the first 11 months of 2022. For the same period a year earlier, renewables' share was 12.50%.
On the consumption side, renewables were 13.20% of energy use during the first 11 months of 2022. Renewables were 12.43% of energy consumption during the same time period a year earlier. Actual consumption of renewables increased by 8.96% while total energy use for all sectors increased by just 2.59%.
"Last year set a new record for renewably-generated electricity in the US," noted the SUN DAY Campaign's executive director Ken Bossong. "Renewables are now on track to reach one-quarter of electrical generation in 2023 as well as one-seventh of total domestic energy production and then accelerate in the years to follow."
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 Unless otherwise indicated, the electricity figures cited above include EIA's "estimated small-scale solar photovoltaic" (e.g., rooftop solar systems) which accounts for 28.66% of total solar output and slightly over six percent (6.02%) of total net electrical generation by renewable energy sources.
 See, for example, US Energy Information Administration, "EIA expects renewables to account for 22% of US electricity generation in 2022" (August 16, 2022) https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=53459
EIA's latest "Electric Power Monthly" report was released on February 27, 2023. For the data cited in this news release, see Table ES1.A "Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics 2022 and 2021" and Table ES1.B. “Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics, Year-to-Date 2022 and 2021”at:
The 2017 data cited may be derived from Table ES1.B found on p.12 of EIA's February 2018 "Electric Power Monthly" report; see: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/archive/february2018.pdf
The 2012 data cited may be derived from Table ES1.B found on p.12 of EIA's February 2013 "Electric Power Monthly" report; see: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/archive/february2013.pdf
EIA's latest "Monthly Energy Review" report was released on February 23, 2023. The data cited can be derived from the table found at: https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec1_3.pdf
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The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organisation founded in 1992 to support a rapid transition to 100% reliance on sustainable energy technologies as a cost-effective alternative to nuclear power and fossil fuels and as a solution to climate change.
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