Renewable sources of energy are beginning to replace coal power in the U.S.:
Every year the percentage of U.S. electricity generated from renewables has been increasing, according to the latest figures released by the Energy Information Administration in its Electric Power Monthly report.
As a result, by April of 2009, the total was 12.97 percent, with hydropower accounting for 8.73 percent and other renewables like solar and wind 4.24 percent of all U.S. electricity on average among all the states. Higher wind generation totals in just 4 states accounted for 62.2 percent of the national increase in wind powered generation: Texas, Iowa, New York, and Indiana.
By contrast the percentage of electricity from fossil power is now actually decreasing.
Comparing April 2008 to April 2009, coal-fired generation fell by 20,551 thousand megawatt-hours, or 13.9 percent. Declines in 7 states accounted for 52.3 percent of the national decrease in coal-fired generation: they were Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Texas.
Net generation from wind sources was 34.8 percent higher than April 2008. Generation from conventional hydroelectric sources had the largest absolute increase in April 2009 as it was up by 3,918 thousand megawatt-hours, or up 18.4 percent from April 2008.
Interestingly, efficiency or conservation also appears to have increased:
Net electricity generation dropped by 5.0 percent from April 2008 to April 2009. This was the ninth consecutive month that net generation was down compared to the same calendar month in the prior year.
(Or perhaps that drop was the result of idled factory production since the EconoApocalypse last fall.)
Photography by JPHolappa