Renewable & Alternative Fuels

Current Issues & Trends

Past Issues & Trends

Maryland increases renewable portfolio standard target to 25% by 2020 March 24, 2017

RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards)

Energy use by federal agencies continues to decline December 7, 2015

alternative fuelsbuildingsexports/importsvehicles

EIA electricity data now include estimated small-scale solar PV capacity and generation December 2, 2015

CaliforniaHawaiiMassachusettsNew JerseyNew Yorkcapacitycommercialdistributionelectricitygenerating capacitygenerationindustrialnet meteringresidentialsolarstatesutility

New biofuels eliminate need for blending with petroleum fuel November 9, 2015


Texas expected to keep breaking records for wind generation as wind capacity grows November 4, 2015

ISO (independent system operator)RTO (regional transmission organization)Texascapacityelectricitygenerating capacitygenerationstateswholesale powerwind

Beyond China, other Southeast Asian countries plan for significant hydroelectric additions October 29, 2015

Chinagenerating capacityhydroelectricinternational

Global solar photovoltaic manufacturing production slows in recent years September 14, 2015


Alaska increases wind power capacity in utility-scale and distributed-scale projects September 1, 2015


Domestic market for distributed wind turbines faces several challenges August 27, 2015


Australia shifts investment from wind projects to other renewable sources August 20, 2015


First offshore wind farm in the United States begins construction August 14, 2015

capacitygenerating capacitygenerationwind

West Coast wind patterns lead to below-normal wind generation capacity factors August 11, 2015

CaliforniaOregonWashingtoncapacitygenerating capacitygenerationstateswind

Coal, nuclear, and renewables expected to boost Vietnam’s electricity capacity August 3, 2015

coalelectricityinternationalnatural gasnuclear

Residential solar PV capacity surpasses commercial solar PV capacity in 2014 July 27, 2015

ArizonaCaliforniaHawaiiMassachusettsNew JerseyNew YorkUnited Statescapacityelectricityresidentialsolarstates

Power-to-gas brings a new focus to the issue of energy storage from renewable sources July 24, 2015

electricitygenerationinventories/stocksnatural gasstorage

Fossil fuels have made up at least 80% of U.S. fuel mix since 1900 July 2, 2015

United Statescoalconsumption/demandelectricityexports/importshydroelectricliquid fuelsnatural gasnuclearoil/petroleumwood

Hawaii and Vermont set high renewable portfolio standard targets June 29, 2015

HawaiiRPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards)Vermontstates

Renewables share of U.S. energy consumption highest since 1930s May 28, 2015


EIA launches redesigned International Energy Portal May 21, 2015

coalinternationalnatural gas

EIA launches redesigned International Energy Portal May 19, 2015

coalinternationalliquid fuelsnatural gasoil/petroleum

Nonpetroleum share of transportation energy at highest level since 1954 May 18, 2015

biofuelsbiomasscoalelectricityexports/importsliquid fuelsnatural gasoil/petroleumtransportation

Power generation from coal and natural gas expected to temporarily converge this spring May 14, 2015

STEO (Short-Term Energy Outlook)coalelectricityhydroelectricnatural gasnuclear

Corn ethanol yields continue to improve May 13, 2015

biofuelsethanolliquid fuelsproduction/supply

Natural gas, renewables projected to provide larger shares of electricity generation May 4, 2015

coalelectricityexports/importsliquid fuelsnatural gasnuclearoil/petroleum

UK's renewable energy targets drive increases in U.S. wood pellet exports April 22, 2015

United Kingdomelectricityexports/importsgenerationinternationalwood

U.S. ethanol exports in 2014 reach highest level since 2011 March 26, 2015

BrazilCanadaRFS (renewable fuel standards)biofuelsethanolexports/imports

California first state to generate more than 5% of electricity from utility-scale solar March 24, 2015

CaliforniaRPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards)electricitygenerationsolarstates

U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel imports decline 36% in 2014 March 20, 2015

RFS (renewable fuel standards)alternative fuelsbiofuelsexports/imports

Total energy subsidies decline since 2010, with changes in support across fuel types March 13, 2015

biofuelscoalelectricityliquid fuelsnatural gasnuclearoil/petroleumsolarwind

Scheduled 2015 capacity additions mostly wind and natural gas; retirements mostly coal March 10, 2015

capacitycoalelectricitygenerating capacitynatural gasnuclearretirementssolarwind

Wind generation seasonal patterns vary across the United States February 25, 2015

capacity factorwind

Higher RIN prices support continued ethanol blending despite lower gasoline prices February 23, 2015

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)RFS (renewable fuel standards)biofuelsethanolgasolineliquid fuelsprices

Wind generates more than 10% of Texas electricity in 2014 February 19, 2015

ISO (independent system operator)RTO (regional transmission organization)Texaselectricityelectricity generating fuel mixgenerating capacitygenerationstatestransmissionwholesale powerwind

Power sector employment declines, except for renewable electricity generators December 19, 2014


Several states are adding or increasing incentives for electric vehicle charging stations December 11, 2014


California leads the nation in the adoption of electric vehicles December 10, 2014


Increased solar and wind electricity generation in California are changing net load shapes December 9, 2014

CaliforniaISO (independent system operator)RTO (regional transmission organization)electricitygenerating capacitygenerationsolarstateswholesale powerwind

Solar photovoltaic output depends on orientation, tilt, and tracking November 19, 2014


Rail shipments of oil and petroleum products through October up 13% over year-ago period November 13, 2014

HGL (hydrocarbon gas liquid)biofuelscoalcrude oilelectricityliquid fuelspropanerail

Increasing ethanol use has reduced the average energy content of retail motor gasoline October 27, 2014

biofuelsethanolgasolineliquid fuels

European nations are increasing electricity generation using no-carbon sources September 22, 2014


Natural gas, solar, and wind lead power plant capacity additions in first-half 2014 September 9, 2014

coalelectric generationelectricity generating fuel mixgenerating capacitygenerationhydroelectricnatural gassolarstateswholesale powerwind

Geothermal resources used to produce renewable electricity in western states September 8, 2014

Californiaelectric generationelectricityelectricity generating fuel mixgenerating capacitygenerationgeothermalhydroelectricsolarstateswaste-to-energywindwood

Commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant opens September 5, 2014

RFS (renewable fuel standards)biofuelsbiomassethanolliquid fuels

New England relying more on natural gas along with hydroelectric imports from Canada August 22, 2014

New Englandelectric generationelectricityelectricity generating fuel mixenergy efficiencygenerationhydroelectricnatural gastransmission

Nonhydro renewables now routinely surpass hydropower generation July 31, 2014

alternative fuelselectric generationelectricitygenerating capacitygenerationsolarwind

EIA projections show hydro growth limited by economics not resources July 10, 2014

generating capacitygenerationhydroelectric

The Columbia River Basin provides more than 40% of total U.S. hydroelectric generation June 27, 2014

CaliforniaCanadaNorthwestWashingtonWyomingelectric generationelectricitygenerating capacitygenerationhydroelectricstates

California continues to set daily records for utility scale solar energy June 25, 2014

CaliforniaISO (independent system operator)electric generationelectricitygenerating capacitygenerationsolarstatesutility

Fewer wind curtailments and negative power prices seen in Texas after major grid expansion June 24, 2014

Texaselectricitygenerating capacitygenerationpower plantsstatestransmissionwholesale powerwind

Texas hits new peak wind output June 23, 2014

Texaselectricitygenerating capacitygenerationpower plantsstateswholesale powerwind

Hydropower supplies more than three-quarters of Brazil’s electric power June 17, 2014

Brazilelectric generationhydroelectricinternational

U.S. wood pellet exports double in 2013 in response to growing European demand May 22, 2014

EuropeUnited Kingdomalternative fuelsexports/importsinternationalwood

China promotes both fuel efficiency and alternative-fuel vehicles to curb growing oil use May 13, 2014

Chinaconsumption/demandgasolineliquid fuelssales

U.S. ethanol imports from Brazil down in 2013 May 5, 2014

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)RFS (renewable fuel standards)RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards)biofuelsbiomassethanolgasoline

U.S. biomass-based diesel imports increase to record levels in 2013 May 2, 2014

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)RFS (renewable fuel standards)biofuelsexports/imports

Lower U.S. electricity demand growth would reduce fossil fuels’ projected generation share April 30, 2014

AEO (Annual Energy Outlook)AEO2014CO2 (carbon dioxide)coalgenerationnatural gasnuclearsolar

Biofuels production drives growth in overall biomass energy use over past decade March 18, 2014

alternative fuelsbiofuelsbiomassexports/importswood

State Energy Profiles enhanced and renewables sections added December 19, 2013

alternative fuelsbiomasscoalelectricityexports/importsgeothermalhydroelectricnatural gasoil/petroleumproduction/supplysolarstateswind

EPA proposes 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard, with EIA to provide input to the final rule November 21, 2013

RFS (renewable fuel standards)STEO (Short-Term Energy Outlook)alternative fuelsbiofuelsethanolforecasts/projectionsgasolineliquid fuelsregulation

Renewable generation provides a growing share of California’s electricity September 23, 2013

Californiaelectricitygenerating capacitygenerationnuclear

EPA finalizes Renewable Fuel Standard for 2013; additional adjustments expected in 2014 August 14, 2013

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)RFS (renewable fuel standards)biofuelsethanolliquid fuels

EIA projects world energy consumption will increase 56% by 2040 July 25, 2013

IEO (International Energy Outlook)emissionsforecasts/projectionsinternational

Energy sources have changed throughout the history of the United States July 3, 2013

United Statescoalconsumption/demandelectricityexports/importshydroelectricliquid fuelsnatural gasnuclearoil/petroleumwood

What caused the run-up in ethanol RIN prices during early 2013? June 13, 2013

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)RFS (renewable fuel standards)biofuelsethanolliquid fuels