Renewable energy in the United States accounted for 13.2 percent of the domestically produced electricity in 2012. Renewable energy reached a major milestone in the first quarter of 2011, when it contributed 11.7 percent of total U.S. energy production (2.245 quadrillion BTUs of energy), surpassing energy production from nuclear power (2.125 quadrillion BTUs). 2011 was the first year since 1997 that renewables exceeded nuclear in US total energy production.
Hydroelectric power is currently the largest producer of renewable power in the U.S. It produced around 6.2% of the nation's total electricity in 2010 which was 60.2% of the total renewable power in the U.S. The United States is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world after China, Canada and Brazil. The Grand Coulee Dam is the 5th largest hydroelectric power station in the world.
U.S. wind power installed capacity now exceeds 60,000 MW and supplies 3% of the nation's electricity. Texas is firmly established as the leader in wind power development, followed by Iowa and California. Since the U.S. pioneered the technology with Solar One, several solar thermal power stations have also been built. The largest of these solar thermal power stations is the SEGS group of plants in the Mojave Desert with a total generating capacity of 354 MW, making the system the largest solar plant of any kind in the world. The largest photovoltaic power plant in North America is the over 200 MW Agua Caliente Solar Project in Yuma County, Arizona. The Geysers in Northern California is the largest complex of geothermal energy production in the world.
The development of renewable energy and energy efficiency marks "a new era of energy exploration" in the United States, according to President Barack Obama. In a joint address to the Congress on February 24, 2009, President Obama called for doubling renewable energy within the next three years. In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama restated his commitment to renewable energy and mentioned the long-standing Interior Department commitment to permit 10,000 MW of renewable energy projects on public land in 2012.
Read more about Renewable Energy In The United States: Rationale For Renewables, Current Trends, Hydroelectricity, Wind Power, Solar Thermal Power, Solar Photovoltaic Power, Geothermal Power, Solar Water Heating, Biomass, Biofuels, Wave Power, Renewable Energy Research, Policy and Promotion in The United States, Renewable Energy Organizations, Statistics, See Also
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