Thursday, December 30, 2010

Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power Neck-and-Neck in U.S. Energy Production


Washington DC -- According to the most recent issue of the "Monthly Energy Review" by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), "nuclear electric power accounted for 11% of primary energy production and renewable energy accounted for 11% of primary energy production" during the first nine months of 2010 (the most recent period for which data have been released).

More specifically, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, water, and wind) accounted for 10.9% of domestic energy production and increased by 5.7% compared to the same period in 2009. Meanwhile, nuclear power accounted for 11.4% of domestic energy production but provided 0.5% less energy than a year earlier.

Among the renewable energy sources, biomass and biofuels accounted for 51.95%, hydropower for 31.50%, wind for 10.52%, geothermal for 4.65%, and solar for 1.38%. Comparing the first three-quarters of 2010 against the same period in 2009, hydropower declined by 5.2% but geothermal expanded by 1.8%, solar grew by 2.4%, biomass/biofuels increased by 10.0%, and wind grew by 26.7%; combined, non-hydro renewables expanded by 11.5%.

Preliminary data also show that fossil fuels accounted for 78% of primary energy production. Overall, U.S. primary energy production rose by 2% compared with the first nine months of 2009.

“Members of the incoming Congress are proposing to slash cost-effective funding for rapidly expanding renewable energy technologies while foolishly plowing ever-more federal dollars into the nuclear power black hole,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “The numbers clearly show this would be betting on the obvious loser while ignoring the clearly emerging winner in the energy race.”

And according to EIA’s latest "Electric Power Monthly," renewable energy sources accounted for 10.18% of U.S. electrical generation during the first three-quarters of 2010. Compared to the same period in 2009, renewables - including hydropower - grew by 2.2%. While conventional hydropower dropped by 5.2%, non-hydro renewable used in electrical generation expanded by 16.8% with geothermal growing by 4.9%, biomass by 5.5%, wind by 27.3%, and solar by 47.1%. Non-hydro renewables accounted for 3.9% of total electrical generation from January 1 - September 30, 2010 -- up from 3.5% the year before.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its most recent "Monthly Energy Review" on December 22, 2010. It can be found at: The relevant charts from which the data above are extrapolated are Tables 1.1 and 1.2. EIA released its most recent "Electric Power Monthly" on December 17, 2010; see: The relevant charts are Tables ES1.A and ES1.B.

The quotation in the first paragraph of this release was originally posted by the EIA on its web page accompanying the release of the “Monthly Energy Review” but has since been removed without explanation. The original EIA posting can be found at the following two sites:

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Purple Wind Turbines

According to a recent publication in the European Journal of Wildlife Research, purple wind turbines attract the fewest insects and therefore injure the fewest birds and prolong the life of the turbine.

Photo Credit: Patrick Finnegan