Almost 23% of US electricity came from renewables in 2022


US renewable energy sources provided almost 23% of the nation's electrical generation during the first three-quarters of 2022, according to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In the first nine months of 2022, renewable energy sources (including small-scale solar systems) in the US increased their electrical output by 15.44% compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the research.

Year-to-date, renewables have provided 22.66% of total US electrical generation compared to 20.33% a year earlier.

For the nine-month period, electrical generation by wind increased by 18.64% and provided almost a tenth (9.75%) of total electrical generation. Meanwhile, solar energy grew by 25.68% and provided 5.01% of the nation's electrical output.

In addition, hydropower generation increased 7.98% and accounted for 6.29% of the total. Geothermal also grew by 6.95%, while electrical generation attributed to the combination of wood and other biomass dropped by 1.12%.

Taken together, during the first three-quarters of 2022, renewable energy sources easily out-produced both coal and nuclear power by 15.52% and 28.25%, respectively.

Over the past five years, the mix of renewables among electrical generating sources has moved from fourth into second place (23.3%), while relegating coal and nuclear to third and fourth place (19.8% and 17.6%).

Natural gas, however, has retained the lead (38.5%) among energy sources comprising the US electrical mix. 

Yet, EIA's data suggest that renewable energy's strong growth this year may slow down during the last third of 2022. 

"For some time now, EIA has been forecasting renewables to provide 22% of US electrical generation in 2022 - up from 20% a year earlier," noted the SUN DAY Campaign's executive director Ken Bossong.

"While they presently are ahead of that level, a slowdown in generation by wind and hydropower during the last quarter of this year could result in renewables falling short of that mark while still exceeding their 2021 record output." 

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