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Renewable Energy Generates Major Gains in 2008-2012 Time Frame

February 5th, 2014 | by Morris Beschloss | Comments

Between 2008 and 2012, net generation from all utility-scale renewable fuel types in the U.S. (Biomass, geothermal, solar and wind) increased 23% or 90,329 GWh, the measuring stick for renewable energy components, according to the SNL Energy Report, Charlottesville, Va.

The report states that wind comprised the majority of the net generation supplied by renewables, adding 74%, or 66,717 GWh of the increase. But solar is now coming along even faster. While output from wind facilities’ net generation grew 121%, solar posted the largest percentage net generation increase capacity, growing 330% or 3,118 GWh.

Wind also comprised the bulk of the increase in operating capacity installed over the period. Solar, though, posted the largest percentage net generation increase, growing 330%.

Although renewable energy has often been touted as the major replacement for fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), this contention, despite its impressive growth in the last decade, is patent nonsense. It’s objectively estimated by expert analysts, without an ax to grind, that by mid-century, oil, natural gas and even coal will represent 75% (at the least) or 88% (the most) of all energy used worldwide.

In fact, the biggest surprise forthcoming in energy usage will be natural gas for transportation empowerment. T. Boone Pickens, the world’s leading advocate of natural gas, has emphasized that he will live to see natural gas, shackled by lack of broad distribution and replenishment, evolve into a supplement for gasoline and diesel. Currently evolving technology allows for “natural gas” stations throughout the U.S., rather than just for business and government vehicles that have stations to go back to every night for replacement.

With the incredible fracking revolution, that has only tapped into less than 10% of availability in the U.S., oil and liquid natural gas are the revenue and job generators that will make the U.S. the central fueling center for a rapidly developing world. This is destined to exceed other world countries’ barrels of oil per day, whose demand is now back at the level that existed in 2007, before the reverses of the “great recession.”

With a world population headed for over 9 billion by mid-century, plus a much larger percentage than exists today having reached a level of industrial development far greater than even now anticipated, both fossil fuels and renewable energy will reach a demand factor that will make both an urgent necessity.

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