The US consumed a record amount of renewable energy in 2019

In 2019, renewable energy consumption in the United States rose for the fourth year in a row, reaching a record 11.5 trillion British thermal units (Btu), or 11% of total US energy consumption. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) ‘s new graph of US Renewable Energy Consumption by Source and Sector, published in the Monthly Energy Review, shows how much renewable energy is used by source in each sector.

In its monthly energy balance, EIA converts energy sources into common thermal units, the so-called British Thermal Units (Btu), in order to compare different types of energy that are more often measured in units that are not directly comparable, such as: B. Gallons of biofuels versus kilowatt hours of wind energy. EIA uses a fossil fuel equivalence to calculate the primary energy consumption of non-combustible renewable energies such as wind, water, sun and geothermal energy.

Wind energy in the United States is used almost exclusively by wind turbines to generate electricity in the power sector, and in 2019 accounted for about 24% of US renewable energy consumption from renewable energy annually in 2019.

Wood and waste energy, including wood, wood pellets, and biomass waste from landfills, accounted for approximately 24% of US renewable energy consumption in 2019. Industrial, commercial, and electrical power plants use wood and waste as fuel to generate electricity, to produce electricity, heat and manufacture goods. Around 2% of US households used wood as their primary heat source in 2019.

Hydropower is used almost exclusively by water-powered turbines to generate electricity in the power sector and accounted for around 22% of US renewable energy consumption in 2019. U.S. hydropower consumption has remained relatively constant since the 1960s, but fluctuates with seasonal rainfall and drought conditions.

Biofuels, including fuel ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels, accounted for about 20% of U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2019. Biofuels are typically mixed with petroleum-based motor gasoline and diesel and used as liquid fuels in automobiles. Industrial biofuel consumption accounts for approximately 36% of US biofuel energy consumption.

Solar energy, used to generate electricity or directly as heat, accounted for around 9% of US renewable energy consumption in 2019 and saw the largest percentage increase among renewable sources in 2019.Power plants use sunlight to generate electricity. Some residential and commercial buildings heat with solar systems.

Lead author: Mickey Francis

Courtesy of the EIA’s Today in Energy series.

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