The use of solar energy in the electric power sector of the United States will grow by 50% from this year into next, according to the latest Short Term Energy Outlook by the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy.
Solar energy levels will grow from 0.012 quadrillion Btu (quads) in 2010, to 0.018 quad in 2011. In 1991, the solar energy level was 0.005 quad, representing an increase of 140% over almost 20 years.
Wind power will grow by 31% by next year in the utility sector, from 0.909 to 1.189 quad. In 1991, that level was 0.031 quad, representing a two-decade increase of 2,830% for wind power.
Utilities will increase their use of hydroelectric power by 4.4% (to 2.589 quad), geothermal by 2.7% (to 0.343), wood by 2.2% (to 0.182) and other renewable energy by 4.2% (to 0.273 quad).
By contrast, consumption of renewable energy will remain flat in most other sectors in the USA.
The industrial sector will increase its renewable energy level by 1.3% (to 1.453 quad) mainly from an increase in wood and wood waste, while the commercial sector will increase by 0.8%.
The residential sector will stay at 0.602 quad of renewable energy consumption, although the transportation sector will increase by 7% due to a significant increase in the consumption of biodiesel.