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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

US Renewable Energy Grows Another 10% in First Half of 2017

Renewables grow over 10% in first half of 2017 as consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power falls.
Solar use up 39.9%; Hydro up 16.1%; Wind up 15.7%; Biofuels up 2.3%; Geothermal up 1.8%.
Nuclear power drops 3.3%; Fossil Fuels down 1.2%.
Renewables now provide approximately 42% more energy than nuclear.

From The SUN DAY Campaign

The latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information’s (EIA) “Monthly Energy Review ” (with data through June 30, 2017) reveals that domestic production and use of renewable energy sources (i.e., biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) continued to show strong growth during the first half of the year as the consumption of both nuclear power and fossil fuels declined.

Renewables accounted for 13.49% of domestic energy production during the first half of 2017 compared to 12.61% during the same period in 2016 and 10.88% in 2015. During the first six months of 2017, energy produced from renewable sources was 10.29% higher than a year earlier and 21.34% higher than two years ago. On the consumption side (i.e., energy used for electricity, transportation, thermal, etc.), the pattern of growth is similar with renewables accounting for 11.89% of energy use during the first half of 2017, compared to 10.77% in 2016 and 9.64% in 2015.

Comparing the first half of 2017 to that of 2016, solar production and use has grown by 39.86%, hydropower grew by 16.13%, wind by 15.65%, and geothermal by 1.80%. In addition, U.S. production of biofuels increased by 2.99% and their use expanded by 2.30%. Only biomass energy (i.e., wood and waste) production and use dipped slightly by 0.16%.

By comparison, energy output from the nation’s nuclear power plants in the first half of 2017 was 3.27% lower than in the same period in 2016 and 2.29% lower than its 2015 level. As a share of the nation’s overall energy production, nuclear power is now less than one-tenth – just 9.44% – and even lower (8.40%) as a share of energy consumption. Moreover, energy production from renewable sources is 42.90% greater than that from nuclear power (and 41.42% greater when comparing consumption levels).

Similarly, notwithstanding a 16.06% increase in U.S. coal production, the nation’s overall consumption of fossil fuels (e.g., coal, natural gas, oil) continued its downward slide from 81.73% of total energy use in the first half of 2015 to 80.31% for the same six-month period in 2016, and to 79.46% in 2017. As a consequence, the nation experienced another small (0.59%) decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions attributable to energy consumption. In addition, the gap between coal-based energy use and that from renewable sources is rapidly closing with coal now outpacing renewables by just 15.62%.

“Notwithstanding desperate efforts by the Trump Administration to prop up nuclear power and fossil fuels, they continue to lose ground to the mix of renewable energy sources,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Time to wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. President!”

Source: EIA released its most recent “Monthly Energy Review” report on September 28, 2017.
The full report may be found at:

The most relevant data cited in this release may be found in, or is derived from, the following tables:

The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1992 to aggressively promote sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels. Contact: Ken Bossong at 301-270-6477 x11

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