Since President Obama took office, non-hydro renewable electricity generation has practically doubled, going from 3.06% of net electricity in 2008 to 5.75% in 2012, according to numbers from the Energy Information Administration.
Monthly electricity output growth between 2008 and 2012 is pretty impressive. Solar grew by 285.19%, wind grew by 171.72%, and geothermal grew by 13.53%. Biomass power generation took the only hit, dropping 0.56%.
During the first half of 2012, there were 229 renewable energy projects that accounted for over 38% of new electricity generation capacity, including 111 solar energy projects, 50 wind energy projects, 59 biomass projects, 4 water power projects, and 5 geothermal projects. This was all outlined in the monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects.
Another good thing the EIA figures have shown is that energy generation from coal has fallen as much as 20% since May 2011, and for the first time, global renewable energy investments surpassed fossil fuel investments in 2011.
At a campaign event at Colorado State University, President Obama brought up the increase in clean energy. “You believed we could use less foreign oil and reduce the carbon pollution that threatens our planet,” he said. “And in just four years, we have doubled the generation of clean, renewable energy like wind and solar. We developed new fuel standards for our cars so that cars are going to get 55 miles a gallon next decade. That will save you money at the pump. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a level roughly equivalent to a year’s worth of carbon emissions from all the cars in the world put together.”
So far, the administration has brought a refreshing approach to clean energy efforts out of the White House. I cannot wait for the day this is no longer a political issue, but something that gets done because it’s simply the smart thing to do.