Recent figures released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) for electricity generation in the U.S, for the first quarter of 2017 (Q1) shows that the numbers from renewable energy generation are coming out big. According to the latest EIA report, renewable energy generation accounted for almost 10.68 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. Out of the total electricity generation in the U.S., such renewable energy sources include solar energy, wind energy, and geo-thermal power energy.
A Dramatic Increase in 5 Years
EIA is a statistical department within the Department of Energy. Notably, before five years, the EIA could not clearly foresee this drastic surge in the share of renewable energy generation in the energy mix, as reported by Ars Technica. Technically, including the electricity generated from the hydro-electric plants; renewable energy generation made up almost one-fifth i.e. around 19.35 percent of the total electricity generation.
However, in 2012, the EIA had predicted that the renewable energy generation will increase to 15 percent in 2035, from just 10 percent in 2010. Even in 2015, it had predicted that the share of renewable energy generation will grow to 18 percent in 2040, from 13 percent in 2013.
So according to such forecasts by the EIA, even if it extended the forecast in the future; the renewable energy generation would not reach 19.35 percent until around 2057; said Sun Day Campaign, a non-profit organization, in a statement.
Renewable Energy Numbers
In the first quarter (Q1) of 2017, wind energy contributed a huge proportion in the renewable energy generation at 67.64 TWh (Terawatt per Hour). The residential and small-scale electricity generation included around 4.786 TWh; and the utility-grade solar energy of around 9.2 TWh, in the total renewable energy generation. Compared to this, in the previous year, electricity generation from utility-grade solar energy was at just 6.67 TWh. This means that the electricity generation from utility-grade solar energy saw an increase at 38.5 percent year-over-year.
Biomass energy generation, on the other hand, saw a tumble in its share. The wood-derived fuels and wood lost 1.2 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, other biomass saw a loss at 2.3 percent of the share it had in 2016.
Renewable Energy Generation for 2017
The share of electricity generation through renewable sources has seen a drastic increase in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. But for the entire year, these numbers will not remain the same, as Ars Technica reports.
As the days become sunnier and longer, the electricity generated from solar energy may increase. Also, energy generation from the hydro-electric plants can go down due to droughts in the reservoirs. In the summer, the wind energy can become variable depending on your location in the country.