Back in 2007, prior to the on-going boom in wind and solar, all renewable generation sources together provided 8.3% of America's power.Even then, renewables were an important part of power generation across America and totally vital in states like Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Most of that power came from hydro and secondarily from biomass.
At the end of 2012, renewables provided 12.1% of our national electricity supply. They had gained 3.8 percentage points of market share. Their national market share had risen 44% from 2007 to 2012. Wow!
Hydro remains the top source of electricity generation, but wind is now providing about 4% of America's total power and is still growing. States like Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, and soon Texas get 10% or more of their electricity from wind turbines, while the wind provides 5% of California's. Just amazing!
Though solar provides less than 1% of all electricity generated, the solar industry is now installing about 4,000 megawatts per year, and its growth rates remain extraordinary. Solar is already adding about the equivalent of a small nuclear unit each and every year.
Over the next 5 years, continued wind and solar growth will increase further renewable energy's market share that is highly likely to move past 15%. Indeed, within the next 10 years, a combination of renewable energy growth and declining nuclear production probably means that America will get more power from renewable energy than nuclear power!