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Highlights of EIA’s Latest “Electric Power Monthly” Report

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SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM EIA’S LATEST  “ELECTRIC POWER MONTHLY” REPORT 
(released April 25, 2023), https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly 

 

Solar Was the Fastest Growing Source of Electricity in the U.S. in January-February 2023
The latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” report (with data through February 28, 2023) reveals that in the first two months of this year, electrical generation by solar (including small-scale distributed systems) grew by 6.7%, compared to the same-month period in 2022 – faster than any other energy source. This was driven in large part by growth in “estimated” small-scale solar PV whose output increased by 23.6% and accounted for 32.5% of total solar production.
The mix of utility-scale and small-scale solar PV plus utility-scale solar thermal provided 3.9% of the nation’s electrical output.
Simultaneously, electrical generation by wind increased by 6.6% compared to the same period a year ago and provided 12.2% of total electrical generation. Thus, wind and solar combined provided 16.1% – or nearly one-sixth – of U.S. electrical generation in the first two months of 2023.

 

Meanwhile, generation by hydropower fell 13.9% and accounted for 6.4% of the total. Geothermal also decreased by 5.1% and provided only 0.4% of total generation. Electrical generation attributed to the combination of wood and other biomass dropped by 4.7% and accounted for a bit under 1.3% of the nation’s total electrical production.

 

Combined, electrical output by all renewable energy sources in January-February was 0.5% less than a year earlier.

 

Nonetheless, renewables provided 24.1% of total U.S. electrical generation compared to 22.7% in the first two months of 2022. Renewable energy’s larger share of total U.S. electrical generation is attributable to the fact that generation by all sources (i.e., nuclear power, fossil fuels, renewables) in January-February 2023 was 6.3% lower than in January-February 2022.

 

Further, during the first two months of 2023, electrical generation by nuclear power fell by 0.6% while that a coal plummeted by 32.7%. Nuclear power’s share of electrical generation was 19.8% while that of coal was 16.0%. Consequently, renewable energy sources comfortably out-produced both coal and nuclear power by 50.8% and 21.9% respectively.  In fact, electrical generation by just solar and wind combined exceeded that of coal.
Electrical generation by natural gas in January-February 2023 was 4.5% higher than a year earlier and accounted for 39.4% of total generation.
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EIA’s latest “Electric Power Monthly” report was released on April 25, 2023. For the data cited here, see Table ES1.A “Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics 2023 and 2022” and Table ES1.B. “Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics, Year-to-Date 2023 and 2022”at:

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