In the U.S., renewable fuel beats out nuclear power for the first timeFebruary 10, 2012
A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that the country is getting more of its energy from renewable sources than from nuclear. The results were released as part of the administration’s monthly review of energy consumption. The report notes that in the first nine months of 2011, consumption of renewable energies such as solar, wind and hydrogen surpassed that of nuclear energy by a significant margin. This may mark a major shift in how the country gets its energy, if the trend continues into the future.
By the end of 2011, renewable energy accounted for 12% of the country’s energy consumption. This is up from the 10% only a year previous. The growth of the alternative energy industry is due, in part, to major private investments that have propelled research and development of new technologies forward. In early 2011, the federal government showed scant interest in alternatives as a whole, but that soon changed as more companies began taking matters into their own hands by taking sustainability more seriously.
The Obama administration has been divided on the issue of nuclear power recently. Last year, a major earthquake and its subsequent tsunami devastated the nuclear infrastructure of Japan. The disaster sent a number of nuclear plants into meltdown. Months after the event, the Japanese government, joined by several other governments around the world, decided to discontinue support of nuclear energy, deeming it too dangerous. The U.S., however, has yet to follow suit, claiming that nuclear energy is safe and reliable if the appropriate precautions are taken.