For the first time, non-hydro powered renewable energy accounted for more than half of the United States’ renewable energy production, according to a release from the Sun Day Campaign.
New numbers released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on May 21 show that non-hydro renewables, including solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels, accounted for 53.16 percent of renewable energy production in the first quarter of 2014, while hydro-electric power accounted for 46.84 percent of the nation's production.
While there was a 4.5 percent decrease of hydro electricity production over the last year, possibly due to the drought conditions in California, there was an 11.3 percent increase in the production of solar, wind and solar thermal energy from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. This boost was supported by the 108.3 percent increase in solar and solar thermal energy since the first quarter of 2013. Wind power also saw growth, with an increase of 12.6 percent over 2013 levels, according to the preliminary data released by EIA.
The growth of these particular renewable sources has also led to an overall increase of renewable energy generation over the last year in the United States. In the first quarter of 2014, renewable energy production as a whole accounts for 13.09 percent of net energy generation, which is a 3.29 percent increase from the first quarter of 2013. Wind power now accounts for more than 5 percent of all electricity in the United States, according to the Sun Day Campaign.
The growth of these renewable sources points to a larger shift towards renewable energy across the country.
"For more than a decade, renewable energy sources - led by wind and solar - have been rapidly expanding their share of the nation's electrical generation," said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. "The most recent data affirm that the trend is continuing unabated.”