Renewable Energy Sources Provided over One-Quarter of US Electrical Generation in the First Half of 2022

WIND ACCOUNTED FOR ALMOST 12% OF TOTAL OUTPUT; SOLAR HAS NOW SURPASSED 5%   

UP BY NEARLY A FIFTH SINCE LAST YEAR, RENEWABLES MAY BE ON TRACK TO SURPASS EIA’S FORECAST FOR THE YEAR 

Brief News Update & Analysis  

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite #340; Takoma Park, MD 20912  

sun-day-campaign@hotmail.com | Twitter: Follow @SunDayCampaign 

For Release:  Thursday – August 25, 2022  
Contact: Ken Bossong, 301-588-4741 or 301-270-6477 x.6   

Washington DC – According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided more than a quarter of the nation’s electrical generation during the first half of 2022.  

The latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” report (with data through June 30, 2022) reveals that in the first six months of 2022, renewable energy sources (including small-scale solar systems) increased their electrical output by nearly a fifth (18.45%) compared to the same period a year earlier and provided 25.23% of total U.S. electrical generation. [1]  

For the six-month period, electrical generation by wind increased by 24.67% and provided 11.55% of total electrical generation. Meanwhile, solar sources grew by 27.72% and provided 4.94% of the nation’s electrical output. In June alone, solar accounted for 5.70% of U.S. electrical generation. 

Taken together, renewable energy sources comfortably out-produced both coal and nuclear power by 28.76% and 38.81% respectively. The combination of just wind and solar generated almost as much as the nation’s nuclear power plants (344,685 gigawatthours (GWh) vs. 379,927 GWh) and, in fact, actually out-produced nuclear in the month of April. 

The mid-year statistics suggest that renewables may be on track to surpass EIA’s forecast for electrical generation by renewables in 2022.  

EIA has projected that renewable energy sources will provide 22% of U.S. electrical output this year. [2] Including that generated by distributed solar, renewables actually provided 22.3% last year and 24.4% in the first quarter of this year. At the year’s half-way point, renewables have already surpassed 25%.   

“Renewables seem poised to once again out-perform official government forecasts,” noted the SUN DAY Campaign’s executive director Ken Bossong. “Now providing one-quarter of the nation’s electrical output, it is conceivable that with the incentives provided by the new Inflation Reduction Act, wind, solar, and other renewables will reach the one-third point within the next few years and dominate electrical generation thereafter.”    

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Notes:   

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, the electricity figures cited above include EIA’s “estimated small-scale solar photovoltaic” (e.g., rooftop solar systems) which accounts for 28.70% of total solar output and over five percent (5.62%) of total net electrical generation by renewable energy sources.    

[2] See, for example, U.S. Energy Information Administration, “EIA expects renewables to account for 22% of U.S. electricity generation in 2022” (August 16, 2022) https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=53459   

Sources:  

EIA’s latest “Electric Power Monthly” report was released late on August 24, 2022. For the data cited in this news release, see Tables ES1.A. “Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics, 2022 and 2021” and ES1.B. “Total Electric Power Industry Summary Statistics, Year-to-Date 2022 and 2021”at:   

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=table_es1a

and      

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=table_es1b

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The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1992 to support a rapid transition to 100% reliance on sustainable energy technologies as a cost-effective alternative to nuclear power and fossil fuels and as a solution to climate change. Follow on Twitter: @SunDayCampaign  
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