|Graph: U.S. Energy Information Administration|
The report provides some interesting insights into the geography of renewable energy generation (note: some parts of the site label hydroelectric as separate from renewables, though geographers would consider it part of the renewables mix). Month-to-month changes in each are a combination of differences in built capacity and potential that varies with climatic factors. Because hydroelectric construction has all but ceased in the U.S. (most optimal sites already being in use), fluctuations in this sector have to do with season and secular trends in rainfall, snowmelt and evaporation. Winds vary seasonally, too, of course, but rapid expansion in infrastructure dominates the wind-power curve.
Overall electricity generation in the United is projected to remain remarkable steady at around 11 million megawatt hours per day. To me this suggests that conservation efforts are just keeping pace with economic and population growth, which is better than not keeping pace, but suggest that conservation alone will not lead to actual reductions in electricity-related greenhouse emissions.
|Graphic: U.S. EIA|
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