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Renewable Snapshot

October 19, 2011

U.S. Renewables.  Led by conventional hydropower, the total supply of renewables is projected to grow about 14 percent from 2010 to 2011.  EIA expects total renewable energy supply to remain flat in 2012 as the decline in hydropower offsets growth in other renewable energy supply.

Because of high levels of precipitation in regions such as the Pacific Northwest, 2011 promises to be an abundant year for hydropower generation (growth of 0.57 trillion Btu or 23 percent) – the best year since 1999.  EIA assumes a return to normal snow and rainfall levels in 2012 with hydropower generation falling by 0.38 trillion Btu (12 percent).

Wind energy is projected to account for 39 percent of total renewable energy supply growth from 2010 to 2012, with increases of 0.24 trillion Btu (26 percent) in 2011 and 0.15 trillion Btu (12 percent) in 2012.  The supply of geothermal energy is also projected to rise in both 2011 and 2012 and account for the second largest share of renewables growth (0.20 trillion Btu or 20 percent) from 2010 to 2012.

Solar energy supply represents about 1.5 percent of total renewable energy supply and is projected to grow by 3.9 percent and 9.0 percent in 2011 and 2012, respectively.