Renewable Energy Production Surpasses Nuclear

Renewable energy production has surpassed nuclear energy production in the U.S. according to the latest issue of Monthly Energy Review published by the Energy Information Administration. Production of alternative energy is also beginning to close in on domestic oil production.

During the first three months of 2011, energy produced from renewable energy sources (biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, hydro, wind) generated 2.245 quadrillion Btus of energy equating to 11.73 percent of U.S. energy production. During this same time period, renewable energy production surpassed nuclear energy power by 5.65 percent. In total, energy produced from renewables is 77.15 percent of that from domestic crude oil production.

When looking at all energy sectors, production of renewable energy has increased by a little over 15 percent when compared to first quarter of 2010, and by more than 25 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2009. Of this total, biomass/biofuels accounted for approximately 48 percent of this total followed by hydropower at 35.41 percent, wind at 12.87 percent, geothermal at 2.45 percent and lastly solar at 1.16 percent.

Despite a seemingly low number for solar power, when compared to first quarter last year, solar power has increased by 104.8 percent while wind power increased by 40.3 percent. Hydropower and geothermal energy also increased by 28.7 percent and 5.8 percent respectively. While nuclear energy has seen a slight increase in power generation, for the most part it has remained steady.

“Notwithstanding the recent nuclear accident in Japan, among many others, and the rapid growth in energy and electricity from renewable sources, congressional Republicans continue to press for more nuclear energy funding while seeking deep cuts in renewable energy investments,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “One has to wonder ‘what are these people thinking?’”

25 thoughts on “Renewable Energy Production Surpasses Nuclear

  1. hasnt the USA suspended most plants for maintance after fukishima????

    isnt the USA nuclear plants the oldest in any country?

    its good to know that they will develop more reactors for the next centruy

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  3. “One has to wonder ‘what are these people thinking?’”

    We need to replace coal- and natural-gas-based production, and cutting down trees for fuel is neither sustainable, nor carbon neutral.

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  5. Why use BTU:s in the article – electricity is generally measured in kWh. Using an ancient British measurement makes it hard to compare the figures – especially internationally.

  6. And, the biggest parts of this are attributable to hydro (which is “bad” renewables — Google “undamming” some time) and “biomass” (which reads “corn ethanol” — open the hood and find fossil fuels). Misleading bilge.

  7. Nice to see progress in the various renewables.

    re: “what are these people thinking?” – dinosaurs like dinosaur things; they’ve been dying for decades, yet devote their last energies to making life difficult for anyone trying to do anything constructive.

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  12. If you read the report, the distinction becomes more clear. They are comparing apples to oranges. Nuclear is used for electricity generation, and it still outpaces ALL renewables combined for that purpose. Nuclear is not meant to provide energy for transportation (until car batteries get better) except for electricity off the grid. The numbers which suggest that renewables are providing more “energy” incorporate biofuels which are not used for electricity generation, but as transportation fuels.

    Our dependence on oil is not because of our general energy demand, but because of our insistence on personal modes of transportation.

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  14. WOW, Oh, by the way, we were 100% renewable and green 200 years ago. We also lived to be 40. Renewables have been shrinking ever since. In 1950 1/3 of our electrical generation was renewable now it is less than 10%, half of what nuclear does. Get over it Luddites! Please move to Chad where renewable is still the dominate energy source for most people.

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  17. There’s no mention of the costs associated with any of the energy production methods mentioned in this article. Without that, it’s impossible to conclude anything from the article.

  18. not much information and sourcing. wow, 100% increase in solar? hard to believe. It seems like the numbers are being selected, and massaged. I’m glad that renewables are increasing, and I hope nuclear will continue to increase too, to reduce the dangerous forms of energy production.

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  22. We need to eliminate both foreign oil and nuclear. Neither are clean or renewable. Republicians need to stop calling Nuclear clean energy and confusing the issue with the general public. The waste it produces will cause us many health problems and dollars in the future.

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