Energy & Renewables

The US energy sector contributed $544 billion and accounted for 4.6% of US GDP in 2006 . It employs ca. 686,000 people. The sheer size of the US market, the availability of infrastructure and the growth potential of key technologies for renewable energy in the US presents major direct investment opportunities to European companies. The US market for renewable energy capacity in 2005 (excluding hydropower) was approximately $3.5 billion and that year the US led the world in new wind energy infrastructure for the first time since 1992 with 2400 MW installed.

Renewables portfolio standards (RPS) - mandates aimed at increasing the share of renewable power in the energy mix – were adopted by 23 states and the District of Columbia in 2007. At the federal level major incentive mechanisms such as the Production Tax Credit continue to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy projects in every subsector. Renewable energy resources include biomass, wind energy, solar energy, hydropower and geothermal energy. Seven percent of all energy consumed and nine percent of total electricity production was provided from renewable energy resources in the US in 2006. Wind energy experienced the most rapid growth increasing from one percent of renewable consumption in 2001 to four percent in 2006. Total power generated from all sources reached 4,055 billion kilowatt hours in 2006.

US primary energy consumption in 2006 was split into: Petroleum 40%, Natural Gas 23%, Coal 23%, Nuclear electric power 8%, and  Renewable 7%.

Renewable energy consumption was based upon: Biomass 48%, Hydro 42%, Geothermal 5%, Wind 4% Solar 1%.

The Role of Renewable Energy Consumption in the Nation’s Energy Supply, 2006

Facts About the US Energy Sector

Energy Employment and Wages (2007)

Employees 686 000  
Average annual compensation (Energy)* $ 55,340  
Average annual national compensation* $ 68,860  

*includes wages and benefits

Energy Share of the Economy (2005)

Gross Domestic Product ($ billions) $ 13,200 b  
Energy sector share of the economy $ 540 b  
Energy as a percent of GDP 4.6 %  


Related links

Sources: US Department of Energy, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Commerce

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