It seems that the importance of renewable energy is finally catching on in the United States.
According to energy flow charts released by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the US used significantly less coal and petrol in 2009 than in 2008. There was also a decline in the amount of natural gas used while there was increased use of geothermal power, solar power and hydro power.
It found that estimated US energy use fell from 99.2quadrillion BTUs to 94.6quadrillion BTUs.
Wind power increased dramatically over the course of the year to 0.70quads of primary energy compared to 0.51 in 2008. According to AJ Simon, of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the increased use of renewable energy is “a really good story”. He believes it is the result of very good incentives and technological advancements. He also pointed to the technology improving and believes the future is bright from 2010 onwards.
The decrease in coal can be attributed to a number of factors including lower electricity demand, an offset created by more wind power production and a fuel shift to natural gas.
Meanwhile, nuclear energy use remained relatively flat with no new plants added or taken offline during the interval.
Information on carbon emissions should be released later this year.