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Transportation Sector Driving Renewable Energy Usage

May 29, 2015

Charts via EIA.
Charts via EIA.

Renewable energy accounted for 9.8% of total domestic energy consumption in 2014, making up the largest share of energy since the 1930s, according to an Energy Information Administration report.

The transportation sector was a big factor in renewable energy growth in the past decade. From 2001 to 2014, the transportation industry experienced the largest percentage growth in renewable consumption thanks to growing demand for liquid biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Over the same period usage of renewable energy increased by an average of 5% per year due to growing use of wind, solar, and biofuels.

About 13% of the renewable energy in the U.S. is consumed by the transportation sector, and renewables made up nearly 5% of the sector’s energy consumption in 2014.

Electrical power generation still makes up the biggest percentage of renewable use in the U.S. thanks to its use of sources such as hydroelectric and wind power. The industrial sector used 24% of the nation's renewable energy in 2014 because of its use of biomass such as wood and waste as well as its use of biofuels in the manufacturing process.

Hydroelectricity was the largest source of renewable energy in 2014, but it has actually decreased from its highest levels in the mid-to-late 1990s. Wood was the second largest renewable energy source with recent growth due to demand for wood pellets.

For a complete breakdown of the EIA’s report, click here.

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