EIA Expects Renewable Energy Consumption to Increase by 2.6% in 2013
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its Short-Term Energy Outlook report, predicting that renewable electricity consumption will increase by 2.6% in 2013 and by 4.1% in 2014.
Renewable electricity produced in 2012 across the U.S. accounted for about 5% of total electricity production. As expected, wind power led among renewables, accounting for roughly 3.5% of the overall power generation last year. In 2012, renewable energy consumption actually declined by 2%, essentially owing to a 13% decrease in hydropower production in the Pacific Northwest due to lower than usual water levels. Non-hydropower renewables actually grew by an average of 5.2% in 2012.
Hydropower is expected to increase by 1.3% in 2013, while non-hydropower renewables are expected to see a 5.3% increase, totaling to a 4.1% increase overall. Wind is at the forefront of renewables, with wind capacity expected to increase by 7% in 2013 and 10% in 2014. Furthermore, wind power generation is expected to increase by 15% in 2013 and another 8% in 2014. Solar energy is also on a step rise, although solar continues to be a small portion of total U.S. power generation. Nevertheless, consumption is expected to increase by 29% in 2013 and by 30% in 2014.
Liquid biofuels saw its lowest average production in 2012 due to terrible drought conditions across the U.S. that year. The EIA predicts that levels may increase in 2013, but will stay at or around 2012 levels. For wood biomass, 3% increases in generation is expected to be seen in both 2013 and 2014. Geothermal is also expected to see slight increases in the near future.