The latest data recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that renewable energy sources (i.e., biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) provided 12.99% of the nation’s total energy production in 2022.
The latest issue of EIA’s “Monthly Energy Review” report reveals that renewable energy sources grew by 8.28% last year compared to 2021 and by 14.24% compared to 2020. Renewable energy production in 2022 was also 18.53% higher than five years ago and 50.03% greater than a decade earlier.
Across all end-use sectors (e.g., electricity, transportation, heating), renewable energy sources also accounted for 13.07% of energy consumption in 2022 – up from 12.43% a year earlier.
Energy output by most renewables increased in 2022 including solar (up 23.11%), wind (up 14.98%), biofuels (up 5.69%), geothermal (up 4.39%), and hydropower (up 4.13%). Only biomass + wood experienced a decline (down by 2.48%).
By comparison, fossil fuels grew by just 4.48% in 2022 while nuclear power fell by 0.86%.
Among renewable energy sources, wind provided the largest share of production – 28.81%, followed by biomass + wood – 19.43%, biofuels – 18.80%, hydropower – 17.36%, solar – 14.00%, and geothermal – 1.60%.
In 2022, wind accounted for 3.74% of total energy production while solar contributed 1.82% – or 5.56% combined. That is roughly three times their share (1.90%) a decade ago.
The production of biofuels has also experienced moderate growth – up 29.60% over the past ten years. Renewable diesel, in particular, has expanded dramatically, increasing nearly 28-fold since 2012 while production of “other biofuels” such as sustainable aviation fuel are 13 times higher than a decade ago. However, they still provide only a relatively small share (about 13%) of total biofuels output.
The combination of all renewables provided more energy than did either coal or nuclear power in 2022with clean energy sources out-producing the latter two by 11.84% and 65.88% respectively. However, energy sourced from natural gas and oil still exceeded that from renewables.
Notwithstanding an increasing share of the nation’s energy mix by renewable energy sources, EIA reports that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy consumption were 1.11% higher in 2022 than a year earlier and 7.95% higher than in 2020.