According to recent data issued by the United States Energy Information Administration, the renewable energy use in the United States reached all-time highs in the first half of 2021, led by wind power generation and the rapid expansion of solar (EIA). Nonetheless, fossil fuels continue to be the country’s principal energy source.
According to the EIA’s Monthly Energy Review, the wind is currently the country’s greatest renewable energy source, accounting for 28 percent of overall renewable energy output. Solar power usage climbed at the fastest pace throughout this time, increasing by 24 percent. According to the US Department of Energy, sustained growth in solar could result in the energy source providing half of the country’s power supply by 2050. Wind energy increased by nearly 10%, while biofuels increased by 6.5 percent.
As per the EIA, which contains data through the close of June, energy generated by the fossil fuels was down marginally but still constituted for 79 percent of US use. Compared with the same period in 2020, fossil fuel consumption climbed by 6.5 percent in the first half of 2021, with coal usage increasing by approximately 30 percent. According to the EIA, energy-related carbon emissions increased by about 8%.
“The persistent dominance of fossil fuels in energy production and usage in the United States, as well as the related rise in CO2 emissions, is alarming,” says Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “Luckily, renewable sources are gradually increasing their market share.”
Despite the continued high usage of fossil fuels, the EIA anticipated in 2021 that renewables are going to increase electricity production in the US by up to 50% by 2050, with solar power additions driving the expansion.
According to the EIA data, renewable energy sources contributed to 13 percent of the energy generated in the United States. This covers, among other things, energy for transportation and electricity. Renewable energy production reached 6.2 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) at this time, up 3% from the same period in 2020 and 4% higher than in 2019.
Biomass is the second-largest source of the renewable energy in United States, accounting for 21% of total output. Hydropower (almost 20%), biofuels (17%), and solar power (12%) are also significant renewable sources. According to the EIA, industry in the United States consumes a third of the country’s energy. Manufacturing accounts for 77% of the total.