WASHINGTON - Renewable energy consumption increased 2 percent in the United States between 2004 and 2005, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA’s newly released “Renewable Energy Annual, 2005” notes that total U.S. energy consumption was essentially flat in 2005, causing renewable energy’s market share to increase to nearly 7 percent of U.S. energy use. The report notes that wind power grew most rapidly in 2005, increasing by 26 percent, while the biofuel industry experienced the second most rapid growth, at more than 15 percent. Breaking the numbers down further, the EIA found extremely rapid growth in the biodiesel industry, which experienced a four-fold increase in production in 2005.

The EIA report is actually a compilation of four reports, which examine overall renewable energy trends, shipments of solar energy collectors, shipments of geothermal heat pumps, and trends in green pricing and net metering programs. The solar collector report notes that domestic shipments of solar thermal collectors increased by 10.4 percent, while exports grew by 67.4 percent. For solar cells and modules, domestic shipments surged by 72 percent, but exports fell 10 percent as U.S. manufacturers focused on the growing domestic market. Foreign companies also zeroed in on that market, increasing imports by 91 percent. Those figures go hand-in-hand with the report on net metering, which saw a 34 percent growth in 2005, mainly for solar power systems. California provided most of that growth, followed by New Jersey. Geothermal heat pumps also experienced a growing market, with shipments increasing by 9 percent to the highest level yet recorded by EIA. Nearly all geothermal heat pumps produced here are sent to destinations within the United States.

Publication date:08/13/2007