The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.23

Coal, Nuclear Decline as Renewables Increase Share of US Electricity Supply


According to the latest figures published by the U.S. Energy
Information Administration (EIA) in its "Electric Power Monthly" report
released on February 13, 2009, renewable sources of electricity enjoyed
significant growth during the past year while nuclear and coal both
experienced notable declines.

EIA reports that net electricity generation in the United States
dropped by 0.9 percent from November 2007 to November 2008. This was
the fourth consecutive month that net generation was down compared to
the same calendar month in 2007.

drop in coal-fired generation was the largest absolute fuel-specific
decline from November 2007 to November 2008 as it fell by 4,380
thousand megawatt-hours, or 2.7 percent. Declines in Texas, Georgia,
Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia totaled 4,262 thousand

generation was down by 2.3 percent and was second only to coal-fired
generation in its contribution to the national drop in net generation.
The biggest drop in generation at a nuclear plant was at the Millstone
facility in Connecticut, which was down for part of the month for a
refueling outage.

the other hand, EIA figures show that renewable energy, including
conventional hydropower, increased by 7.3 percent -- reflecting a
combined increase of 6.1 percent in conventional hydropower coupled
with a 10.0 percent increase in non-hydro renewables (i.e., solar,
wind, geothermal, biomass).

particular, according to EIA, net generation from wind sources was 42.4
percent higher than it had been in November 2007. The higher wind
generation totals in Texas, California, Minnesota, and Illinois
accounted for 53.1 percent of the national rise.

hydroelectric power provided 6.4 percent of the U.S.'s total net
electricity generation, while other renewables (biomass, geothermal,
solar, and wind) and other miscellaneous energy sources generated the
remaining 3.1 percent of electric power.

Conventional HydroelectricOther Renewables

(thousand megawatt-hours)

229,168 95,685 (1st 11 months - 2007)

243,220 105,284 (1st 11 months - 2008)

+6.1% +10.0% (change 2008 vs. 2007)

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The data cited above are taken from EIA's latest "Electric Power Monthly" and can be found at: