It's no secret that the American economy burns up a lot of electricity. This year promises to be no exception, and in fact, energy generation is on the rise.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) "Electric Power Monthly Data for January 2018," electric power generation increased in January both from the previous month and the same month in the previous year.
Released in March, the report includes generation data for all fuel sources, including coal, petroleum, natural gas, renewables, nuclear and others. It compares totals in January 2018 to the same figures from December and January 2017.
According to the report, total electricity generation increased by nearly 8 percent from 345.9 terawatt-hours (TWh) in December 2017 to 373.2 TWh in January 2018. It increased by more than 9 percent from 341.5 TWh in January of last year.
Nearly every major fuel source saw its numbers increase during the measured time frames. Coal generation increased by more 11 percent from December to January and by nearly 3 percent from January 2017.
Renewables saw even greater increases. Overall, renewable generation increased by nearly 25 percent from January of last year. Wind increased by nearly 30 percent, and solar increased by more than 50 percent.
For those who are wondering if renewables will ever displace coal in the nation's power generation, January 2018 saw the fossil fuel's total share stay relatively constant at just over 30 percent, although that figure was down by about 2 percentage points from January 2017.
Meanwhile, in the renewables category, wind remained at about the same share at just over seven percent of the total. Despite its huge increase from January last year, solar power's share of the nation's total electricity generation also remained about the same, and with a long way still to go, at just under 1 percent.