This week, during our Oil and Our Lifestyles: A Month of Action, we have turned our focus to community and culture, and how we can be agents of change in our respective circles of influence.

Today we’ll take a look at the status of renewable energy in the US and consider actions to support renewable energy.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2010, renewable energy provided 8.2 quadrillion BTUs of primary energy production in the United States, roughly 11% of our total production of 74.9 quads.  Biomass/biofuels accounted for 51.98% of renewable energy production, with hydropower accounting for 30.66%, wind accounting for 11.29%, geothermal for 4.68% and solar for 1.38%.

The good news is that the EIA reported  that wind energy increased by 28% last year, with biomass/biofuels increasing by 10% and solar and geothermal increasing by 4% each.  Also good news:  last Tuesday Governor Gerry Brown signed legislation requiring California utilities to obtain 33% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. The current requirement is 20%.

Today’s proposed action is: Encourage your elected officials to consider a similar bill if they have not already done so, and express your support for a National Renewable Energy Standard. (*Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Tom Udall of New Mexico just introduced a national bill that would require utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025).

Also, if you have not done so already, speak with your local utility company about renewable energy options you can sign up for. 

For more information on both energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, you can visit the US Department of Energy’s website:  http://www.eere.energy.gov/

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