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The State of Renewable Energy in 2018

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The State of Renewable Energy in 2018

An overview of the latest Electric Power Monthly report published by U.S. Energy Information Administration and covering January through April 2018.

We are just halfway through 2018, and it is already evident that use of renewable energy sources is picking up across the U.S.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly (with data for April 2018)” published earlier this week (June 25, 2018), renewables account for 20 percent of electrical generation in the first four months of this year.  Such renewable energy sources include biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind power.  According to EIA’s Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics (Year-to-Date 2018 and 2017), many renewables have experienced significant year-over-year increases just one third of the way through the year, with solar thermal and photovoltaic up 33.6 percent in comparison to the same time last year.  The estimated total increase for all solar sources came in at approximately 31 percent in the first four months of this year, and renewable sources excluding hydroelectric have experienced a 10.8 percent year-over-year increase. The report also revealed that the net electrical generation by solar and wind combined during the first third of 2018 provided 10.06 percent of the nation’s total.

And while the spikes in certain renewables is significant for the first portion of this year, overall the report reflects a modest growth rate.  That being stated, every increase is a step in the right direction and closing the gap between renewable energy and nuclear power, which are currently just about even for their shares of net U.S. electrical generation with renewables at 20.5 percent and nuclear power at 20.27 percent.

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