Renewables: Growing Fast but Still a Rounding Error

Great article by David Roberts on GRIST. Roberts breaks down the National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2010 Renewable Energy Data Book. Great graphics to go with his report. 

Non-hydro renewables remain a small part of the U.S. energy story. More to the point, the sexy renewables -- solar, wind, and geothermal -- are a rounding error. Of the total energy consumed in the U.S. in 2010, solar was 0.1 percent and wind was 0.9 percent. Even with biomass, hydropower, and nuclear thrown in, low-carbon energy amounts to just 17 percent of energy consumed in the U.S.

And yet!

Seen from another angle, growth in renewables has been crazy-fast. From 2000 to 2010 in the U.S., non-hydro renewables have grown at a compounded annual average of almost 14 percent, even faster recently.

NREL: 2010 Renewable Energy Data Book

You can find the original report here.