Renewable energy production and consumption in the U.S. 1975-2020

Renewable energy production in the United States reached an all-time high of 11.6 quadrillion British thermal units in 2019. Consumption followed closely behind at 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units.

U.S. investment in clean energy

The United States' investment in renewables has greatly increased in the past two decades. Clean energy in the United States currently comes primarily from hydropower, with significant contributions from biofuel and biomass -- also known as biopower. Despite growth in the clean energy industry, investment has risen less consistently than consumption and production of renewables. Research and investment were motivated not only by environmental concerns, but also by unstable markets for traditional fossil fuels.

Crisis in oil markets

When oil prices peaked during the 2008 financial crisis, investors turned toward developing renewables as well as increasing domestic oil production as a more economically viable source. During the 2010s oil glut, oversupply of shale oil followed the expansion of extraction methods such as hydraulic fracturing, used to access the country’s large reserves of sandstone deep underground.

Renewable energy production and consumption in the United States from 1975 to 2020

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Release date

September 2020


United States

Survey time period

1975 to 2020

Supplementary notes

* Production equals consumption for all renewable energy sources except biofuels.
Renewable energy is derived from: hydroelectric power, geothermal, solar thermal/photovoltaic, wind, and biomass
**As of June 2020

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Statistics on "Renewable energy in the United States"

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