This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 25, 2004

EIA: U.S. Renewable Energy Use Up 3 Percent in 2003

The U.S. consumption of renewable energy increased 3 percent in 2003, according to preliminary data released on August 18th by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's "Renewable Energy Trends 2003" found that more than half the increase came from a 4 percent increase in hydropower production, while a 3 percent increase in biomass use provided most of the remaining growth. Although U.S. wind energy capacity grew significantly in 2003, most of the growth was toward the end of the year, so energy production from wind power only grew by about 3 percent, providing little contribution to the overall growth in renewable energy use. According to the EIA, solar energy use stayed about even, as solar thermal energy consumption declined while solar power production increased. The EIA data will eventually be incorporated into its "Renewable Energy Annual 2003," slated for release in November. See the EIA's "Renewable Energy Trends 2003."