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EIA: US renewable energy sets record in 2019

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Energy Global,


According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2019, consumption of renewable energy in the US grew for the fourth year in a row, reaching a record 11.5 quadrillion Btu, or 11% of total US energy consumption. The EIA’s new ’U.S. renewable energy consumption by source and sector’ chart published in the Monthly Energy Review shows how much renewable energy by source is consumed in each sector.


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

In its Monthly Energy Review, the EIA converts sources of energy to common units of heat (Btu), to compare different types of energy that are more commonly measured in units that are not directly comparable, such as gallons of biofuels compared with kilowatt hours of wind energy. The EIA uses a fossil fuel equivalence to calculate primary energy consumption of noncombustible renewables such as wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal.

Wind energy in the US is almost exclusively used by wind-powered turbines to generate electricity in the electric power sector, and it accounted for about 24% of US renewable energy consumption in 2019. Wind surpassed hydroelectricity to become the most-consumed source of renewable energy on an annual basis in 2019, the EIA states.

Wood and waste energy, including wood, wood pellets, and biomass waste from landfills, accounted for about 24% of US renewable energy use in 2019. Industrial, commercial, and electric power facilities use wood and waste as fuel to generate electricity, to produce heat, and to manufacture goods, the EIA states. About 2% of US households used wood as their primary source of heat in 2019.


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review

According to the EIA, hydroelectric power is almost exclusively used by water-powered turbines to generate electricity in the electric power sector and accounted for about 22% of US renewable energy consumption in 2019. US hydropower consumption has remained relatively consistent since the 1960s, but it fluctuates with seasonal rainfall and drought conditions.

Biofuels, including fuel ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels, accounted for about 20% of US renewable energy consumption in 2019. Biofuels usually are blended with petroleum-based motor gasoline and diesel and are consumed as liquid fuels in automobiles. Industrial consumption of biofuels accounts for about 36% of US biofuel energy consumption, the EIA states.

Solar energy, consumed to generate electricity or directly as heat, accounted for about 9% of US renewable energy consumption in 2019 and had the largest percentage growth among renewable sources in 2019, according to the EIA. Solar photovoltaic cells, including rooftop panels, and solar thermal power plants use sunlight to generate electricity. Some residential and commercial buildings heat with solar heating systems.


For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry read our latest issue of Energy Global magazine.

Energy Global’s Summer 2020 issue

The Summer issue of Energy Global provides in-depth technical articles covering technological advancements and future outlooks in the renewables sector, from companies including Sulzer, Power Ledger, JinkoSolar, Trelleborg Applied Technologies, Clir Renewables, and many more. The issue covers a spectrum of clean energies, from wind to hydrogen to solar to biofuels.

Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/special-reports/19102020/eia-us-renewable-energy-sets-record-in-2019/

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