Renewable Energy Use Growing, Coal Use Falling

While total energy consumption fell in 2008, compared to 2007, renewable energy use grew, while fossil fuel use fell, according to data released by the Lawrence Livermore National Labratory earlier in the week.

Solar, nuclear, biomass and wind all grew, while coal and petroleum fell. Natural gas rose slightly and geothermal was flat.

In the press release, an energy systems analyst who created the chart said, “This is a good snapshot of what’s going on in the country.”

With the economy hitting the skids last year, combined with a real push by investors in wind and solar, this shift isn’t surprising. What happens from here is less certain.

The government is creating a bevy of incentives for increase alternative energy use, but it’s still unclear if they’ll gain widespread acceptance when the economy kicks into gear.

Click on the image for a larger version of the shifting energy picture.

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