Renewables present 21% of US electrical energy in 2021

February 28 (Renewables Now) – Pushed by sturdy photo voltaic and wind energy progress, electrical era by renewable vitality sources (i.e., additionally together with biomass, geothermal, hydropower) accounted for 21.02% of whole US electrical era in 2021, exceeding US Vitality Info Administration (EIA) forecasts, in response to a SUN DAY Marketing campaign evaluation of newly-released EIA information.

The most recent problem of EIA’s “Electrical Energy Month-to-month” report (with information via December 31, 2021) additionally reveals that in 2021, photo voltaic (together with distributed rooftop programs) elevated by 25.23%, making it the nation’s quickest rising supply of electrical energy final yr. Wind grew 12.37% in comparison with 2020. Mixed, photo voltaic and wind grew by 15.96% and accounted for greater than one-eighth (13.05%) of US electrical era (wind – 9.12%, photo voltaic – 3.93%). Furthermore, wind and photo voltaic mixed now present greater than three-fifths (62.08%) of the era by renewable sources.

As well as, geothermal posted a acquire of two.19% whereas electrical energy generated by wooden + different biomass elevated by 1.42%. Taken collectively, era by all non-hydro renewables grew by 14.08%.

Reflecting extreme drought circumstances through the yr, although, hydropower fell by 8.78%. That however, all renewables mixed – together with hydropower – produced 6.17% extra electrical energy than a yr earlier. Nevertheless, inasmuch as electrical energy era by all sources elevated by 2.86%, renewables’ share of the whole elevated solely barely – from 20.37% in 2020 to 21.02% in 2021. Nonetheless, that exceeded by greater than 5% EIA’s forecast of a 20% share for renewables in 2021 because it repeatedly predicted in its month-to-month “Quick-Time period Vitality Outlook” studies final yr.

Renewable sources additionally expanded their lead over nuclear energy, offering one-eighth (12.50%) extra electrical energy than the nation’s atomic energy vegetation (18.69% of whole US era). Pure fuel remained as the highest supply of US electrical era with a 37.82% share however down from 40.12% a yr in the past. Coal rebounded into second place (with a 21.58% share), rising 16.20% in comparison with 2020.

Longer-term tendencies, although, nonetheless recommend the gradual and possibly accelerating displacement of coal and nuclear energy by renewable vitality sources, particularly photo voltaic and wind. EIA expects 21.8 gigawatts (GW) of recent utility-scale photo voltaic capability to come back on-line in 2022 together with 7.6-GW of recent wind capability and 4.4-GW of small-scale photo voltaic capability. Hydropower additionally appears poised to rebound in 2022; it elevated its output by 19.26% in December 2021 in comparison with December 2020. As a consequence, EIA now expects renewables’ share of US electrical era to high 22% this yr and exceed that of coal whereas nuclear energy’s share declines additional.

“2021 was a very good yr for photo voltaic and wind however headwinds such because the Covid pandemic and disruptions in world provide chains,” famous the SUN DAY Marketing campaign’s government director Ken Bossong. “Along with different renewable vitality sources, they constructed on their rising lead over nuclear energy, will probably overtake coal in 2022, and proceed to chop into pure fuel’s present dominance.”

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NOTE: Until in any other case indicated, the electrical energy figures cited above embrace EIA’s “estimated small-scale photo voltaic photovoltaic” (e.g., rooftop photo voltaic programs) which accounts for 29.95% of whole photo voltaic output and nearly six % (5.60%) of whole web electrical era by renewable vitality sources.


The most recent problem of EIA’s “Electrical Energy Month-to-month” was posted late on February 25, 2022.
For the information cited on this information replace, see the tables: energy/month-to-month/epm_table_grapher.php?t=table_es1b energy/month-to-month/epm_table_grapher.php?t=table_es1a

The most recent problem of EIA’s “Quick-Time period Vitality Outlook” was posted on February 8, 2022.

For the information cited on this information replace, see the “Electrical energy” forecast at: energy.php


The SUN DAY Marketing campaign is a non-profit analysis and academic organisation based in 1992 to aggressively promote 100% reliance on sustainable vitality applied sciences as cost-effective alternate options to nuclear energy and fossil fuels and as a method for addressing local weather change.

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