report published by the Energy Information Administration has found that
renewable energy production in the United States has increased by a little over
15 percent since the first quarter of 2010, which puts it ahead of nuclear
energy production and closer to surpassing domestic oil production.
According to the Energy Information Administration's most recent Monthly Energy Review,
renewable energy sources such as biomass/biofuels,
hydropower, wind, solar and geothermal have accounted for 11.73 percent of U.S.
energy production during the first three months of 2011. This equates to 2.245
quadrillion BTUs of energy. Of this total, biomass/biofuels accounted for 48
percent, hydropower was 35.41 percent, wind was 12.87 percent, geothermal was
2.45 percent and solar was 1.16 percent.
Since the first quarter of 2010, renewable energy production has increased by a
little over 15 percent, and has increased by more than 25 percent when compared
to the first quarter of 2009. As far as individual forms of renewable energy
go, solar power has increased by 104.8 percent when compared to the first
quarter last year while wind increased by
40.3 percent, hydropower increased by 28.7 percent and geothermal increased by
The Monthly Energy Review reported that renewable energy production beat
nuclear energy power by 5.65 percent, and that "energy produced from
renewables is 77.15 percent of that from domestic crude oil production."
Nuclear power experienced a minimal increase, but has mainly stayed steady.
Renewable energy's rise to second place is not all that surprising,
considering Japan's nuclear crisis after
the 9.0-magnitude earthquake has filled many people with a fear of nuclear power.
For instance, U.S. senators insisted that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
repeat a costly
inspection of nuclear power back in March.
"Notwithstanding the recent nuclear accident in Japan, among many others,
and the rapid growth in energy and electricity from renewable sources,
congressional Republicans continue to press for more nuclear energy funding
while seeking deep cuts in renewable energy investments," said Ken
Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. "One has to wonder,
'what are these people thinking?'"