Renewable Electricity Growing Rapidly

But here, not so much. Michigan is way below average in the generation of renewable electricity, which is described in detail by a very worthwhile article in Renewable Energy World.

Below are a few significant excerpts from the article:

After years of research and development, of policy debates over subsidies and climate change and energy independence; renewable energy is finally starting to replace fossil fuel sources of electric generation across the nation. According to data released on Aug. 24 by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), renewable energy in the U.S. through the first half of 2016, including hydro-electric power, biomass, geothermal, wind, and solar (including distributed solar), provided 16.9 percent of electricity generation.

Coal-fired power is down 20 percent thus far this year after dropping 14 percent between 2014 and 2015. Natural gas is only up by about 7.6 percent. So wind and solar power (increasing 23 percent and 31 percent, respectively) are making up for a lot of that lost generation from coal.

What these numbers do show us is the manifestation of years of dedication to investing in renewable energy technologies; to reduce the cost, increase the efficiency, and increase the scale. Policies supporting renewable energy turned an industry that by the end of the last century was almost non-existent to the primary source of new energy resources today.

Part of the reason for this growth is that U.S. electric generation has fallen or been relatively flat since its peak in 2007. In fact, electric generation this year is down 2.5 percent compared with the first half of 2015. Even if generation increases through the rest of the decade, it is not expected to be significant growth.

Please read the original article for the complete story and references for the data.

Bike generator illustration from


Author: Art Myatt

Retired engineer and environmentally aware activist with Green Party of Michigan, Sierra Club and Alliance to Halt Fermi 3.

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