Outrun Change

How much of our electricity comes from solar? Rounded to nearest percent, that would be zero.

I’ve seen comments that rounded to the nearest whole percent, solar power provides 0% of our electricity.

Finally found a way to test that data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has an Short-Term Energy Outlook report which has a data tab.

Figure 25 shows the sources of electricity generation. In thousands of megawatt hours (that would be gigawatt hours) for 2014 and 2015:

•   2014    2015    source
•     770      813    all renewables
• 11,214 11,309   total (gWh)
•    6.9%    7.2%    renewables as percent of total

Figure 26 shows a breakout of renewable energy sources by type. In quadrillion BTUs, here is the actual and projected data:

•   2014    2015    source
• 1.729   1.807   wind (quadrillion btu)
• 0.427   0.524   solar
• 19.4%  20.5%  portion of renewable from wind
•   4.8%    5.9%  portion of renewable from solar

So that means that in 2014, wind farms generated 19.4% of the amount from renewables, which renewables in turn generated 6.9% of the total electricity.

Multiply 19.4% times 6.9% and we find 1.33% of electricity comes from slice-and-dicers.

For solar power, multiply the 4.8% of renewables from solar by the 6.9% of total electricity from renewables and we find that 0.33% of electricity comes from wing-toasters.

Thus, rounded to the nearest percentage point, in 2014 we got 1% of electricity from wind and 0% from solar.

Projected for 2015 is 1.48% from wind and 0.42% from solar, so again rounded to 1% and 0%.

Did I miss something in my math or logic?