The latest Electric Power Monthly Report released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows net U.S. electrical generation from renewable sources (biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro, and wind) reached an all-time high in May of 2009, comprising 13% of the total electrical generation for the month.
Renewable sources for May '09 generated 40,395,000 Megawatt hours (Mwh), 7.7% higher than for May of 2008, and thus far the highest figure ever reported by the EIA.
Total generations for all sources, including fossil and renewable, was down for May of 2009 from the previous year by 4.1%, representing the third-largest percentage decline in national power generation since 1974.
Of the 13% from renewable for May of '09, 9.4% came from conventional hydropower and 3.6% from non-hydro renewables. From that 3.6% of non-hydro, 1.8% came from wind, 1.3% from biomass, 0.4% from geothermal, and 0.3% from solar thermal and photovoltaics (the numbers are rounded). Compared to May of 2008 wind net generation increased by 12.5% (with generation increases in the state of Iowa representing 52.2% of the national increase). Conventional hydro increased by 10.2% from May of 2008, and solar thermal and photovoltaics were up 3.5%.
Coal generation fell by 14.8% and petroleum liquids by 8.3% from May of 2008 to May of 2009. This is the fifth consecutive month of historically steep declines in coal-fired generation as compared with the same month from the previous year.