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Market News

 August 22, 2009
U.S. Renewable Energy has Record Month

 The latest Electric Power Monthly Report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows net U.S. electrical generation from renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro, and wind) reached an all-time high in May of 2009, comprising 13% of the total electrical generation for the month.

Renewable sources for May ’09 generated 40,395,000 Megawatt hours (Mwh), 7.7% higher than for May of 2008, and thus far the highest figure ever reported by the EIA.
"Non-hydro renewables are already well beyond the levels of the Renewable Electricity Standard proposed in energy legislation now being considered by before the U.S. Senate, which calls for just 3 percent renewables by 2013."

-- Kenneth Bossong, Executive Director, Sun Day Campaign

Total net electrical generation in May 2009 from all sources, including renewables, fossil fuels, and nuclear, was 311,411,000 Mwh - a drop of 4.1 percent from the 324,589,000 Mwh generated in May 2008.

The 13 percent share of U.S. net electrical generation provided by renewable sources in May 2009 consists of 9.4 percent from conventional hydropower and 3.6 percent from non-hydro renewables. The latter figure includes approximately 1.8 percent from wind, 1.3 percent from biomass, 0.4 percent from geothermal, and 0.3 from solar thermal and photovoltaics (totals do not exactly equal due to rounding).

Comparing the month of May 2009 to the month of May 2008, net electrical generation from wind sources increased by 12.5 percent; higher wind generation totals in the state of Iowa accounted for 52.2 percent of the national increase. This large increase occurred as 11 new Iowa wind farms began generating electricity at the end of 2008. Conventional hydropower increased by 10.2 percent, reflecting an increase in generation of 2,705,000 Mwh. Solar thermal and photovoltaics combined increased by 3.5 percent.

On the other hand, coal dropped by 14.8 percent and petroleum liquids by 8.3 percent. Nuclear power grew by a paltry 0.6 percent. However, natural gas expanded by 10.6 percent.