Washington DC – The production of domestic energy* from solar sources increased by 13.85% in 2019 while that from wind grew by 10.06%, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of newly-released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The latest issue of EIA’s “Monthly Energy Review” (with data through December 31, 2019) reveals that – for the first time – in 2019, energy from solar sources (1.044 quadrillion Btus or quads) topped 1% of total U.S. energy production while that from wind reached nearly 3% (2.71%).
However, the strong growth in solar and wind energy’s contribution to the nation’s energy mix was largely offset by declines in hydropower (down 6.41%), biomass (down 3.67%), and biofuels (down 2.92%). Geothermal remained unchanged.
Consequently, energy production by all renewable energy sources combined (i.e., biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) increased just marginally last year (0.24%) compared to 2018. Consumption of renewable energy also expanded – but by only 0.53%.
While energy production by the combination of all renewables did register very modest growth, a 7.06% expansion in output by fossil fuels resulted in renewables’ share of total energy production actually dropping from 12.14% in 2018 to 11.52% in 2019. But renewables’ share of domestic energy consumption did increase slightly from 11.27% to 11.45%.
Other key findings in EIA’s report include:
**Biomass remained the dominant renewable energy source in 2019: 2.833 quads compared to wind (2.736 quads), hydropower (2.496 quads), biofuels (2.327 quads), solar (1.044 quads), and geothermal (0.209 quads).
**Energy production by coal fell to its lowest level in 50 years (14.322 quads in 2019 compared to 14.607 quads in 1970).
**Production of natural gas (dry) increased by 10.17% and accounted for 34.52% of total domestic energy production. Crude oil production rose by 11.11% and accounted for 25.15% of the U.S.’s total output. Natural gas plant liquids accounted for another 6.27%.
**Energy contributed by nuclear power changed only slightly (8.462 quads in 2019 compared to 8.438 quads in 2018) but its share of the total energy production mix declined from 8.82% to 8.37%.
**Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy consumption (i.e., oil, gas, coal, biomass) fell by 2.71% resulting mostly from a 13.97% decline in coal-related emissions. However, CO2 emissions in 2019 were at essentially the same level as they were in 2017.
**While domestic use of fuel ethanol rose slightly (up 0.82%), production of the fuel fell by 1.91%. A sharper drop was reported for biodiesel (down 7.17%); consumption of biodiesel also declined – by 4.94%.