Renewable energy provided almost 23% of US electrical generation during the first 10 months of 2022, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.
The final issue of the 2022 EIA “Electric Power Monthly” report series, which was released in December and contains data through October 31, reflects that renewable energy – wind, utility and rooftop solar, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass – increased electrical output by 14.26% compared to the same 10-month period in 2021. By comparison, electrical generation by all energy sources combined grew by 3.14%.
Year-to-date (YTD), renewables provided 22.6% of total US electrical generation compared to 20.40% in 2021. They are on track to meet or exceed EIA’s forecast of renewables providing 22% of US electricity in calendar year 2022.
Solar output alone increased by 26.23%, and its share of total US electrical generation YTD surpassed 5%, providing 5.05% through the end of October. For perspective, solar’s YTD share first reached 1% in March 2016.
Since then, solar’s monthly generation has increased almost sixfold. The trend seems likely to continue – in October alone, US solar output was 31.68% greater than a year earlier, a rate of growth that far exceeded every other energy source.
Electrical generation by wind expanded by 16.86% and provided 9.8% of total electrical generation for the 10-month period.
Renewables collectively outproduced both coal and nuclear by 16.62% and 27.39%, respectively. However, natural gas continues to dominate with a 39.4% share of total generation.
SUN DAY Campaign’s executive director, Ken Bossong, who reviewed the EIA data, said:
As we begin 2023, it seems very likely that renewables will provide nearly a quarter – if not more – of the nation’s electricity during the coming year.
And it is entirely possible that the combination of just wind and solar will outpace nuclear power and maybe even that of coal during the next 12 months.
Photo: First Solar Desert Sunlight Solar Farm/US Department of the Interior
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