- Category: US
22 Jul 2013
- Published on Monday, 22 July 2013 08:27
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America has been using more renewable energy sources and less coal to generate electricity, according to the most recent energy flow chart released by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The increase in the electricity generated from renewable energy sources is due the lowering of the underlying cost of solar panels and wind turbines, as well as policies, such as government incentives to installers of equipment or renewable energy targets in various states, according to L.L.N.L. energy systems analyst A.J. Simon.
Wind power saw the highest in percentage gains when it comes to renewable energy sources, from 1.17 quadrillion B.T.U. (where British Thermal Unit is equivalent to 1 kW-hr) produced in 2011 to 1.37 quadrillion B.T.U. in 2012. New wind farms with bigger, more efficient turbines that were developed in response to government-sponsored incentives to invest in renewable energy are the reason for the increase in wind power’s percentage gains.
Meanwhile, solar power’s percentage gains went from 0.158 quadrillion B.T.U. in 2011 to 0.235 quadrillion B.T.U. in 2012. The global oversupply of photovoltaic panels that drove extraordinary declines in its prices is responsible for the percentage gains in solar power.
Aside from wind and solar, the use of natural gas for electricity generation has sharply increased, from 24.9 quadrillion B.T.U. in 2011 to 26 quadrillion B.T.U. in 2012. The sustained low natural gas prices that have prompted the shift from coal to gas in the electricity generation sector is the reason why natural gas is fast becoming coal’s substitute.
The energy chart, Estimated U.S. Energy Use in 2012, is the most recent of the annual energy flow charts that track’s the nation’s consumption of energy that L.L.N.L has released. – EcoSeed Staff