Research

Obama Fact Checked After Claiming He’s Doubled Renewable Energy

OBAMA HAS REPEATEDLY CLAIMED HE’S DOUBLED THE USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

Obama Claims America Has Doubled Renewable Energy Consumption. OBAMA: “We have doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Democratic National Convention , Charlotte, N.C., 9/6/12)

Obama Continues To Tout Doubling Use Of Renewable Energy. “Sept. 8, 2012, President Barack Obama touted the nation’s achievements in expanding the use of renewable energy. ‘I’ve got a plan to control more of our own energy,’ Obama said. ‘After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. That will save you money. It will help the environment. We’ve doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans now have jobs building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries.’ The line about renewable energy was identical to a line in Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.” (Louis Jacobson, “Barack Obama says, ‘We’ve Doubled Our Use Of Renewable Energy,’” PolitiFact, 9/11/12)

RENEWABLE ENERGY HAS NOT DOUBLED UNDER OBAMA

PolitiFact Rates Obama’s Claim Of Doubling The Use Of Renewable Energy “Mostly False.” “In his two speeches, Obama said, “We’ve doubled our use of renewable energy.” But while the nation has made strides in expanding electricity generated by wind and solar — the most high-profile part of the administration’s policies — the increase for all kinds of energy, and for all types of renewables, was about 25 percent. That’s far short of doubling, so we rate the statement Mostly False.” (Louis Jacobson, “Barack Obama says, ‘We’ve Doubled Our Use Of Renewable Energy,’” PolitiFact, 9/11/12)

The Increase Of Renewable Energy “Was About 25 Percent, According To EIA Data And Estimates.” “Not all renewable energy is used to create electricity. For instance, some renewable energy is used for transportation, primarily ethanol in gasoline. This ethanol is counted in the ‘energy’ category but not in the ‘electricity’ category. Much smaller amounts of biomass are used for heating in colder locales or in industrial facilities like paper mills. So, to use Obama’s words, did renewable energy—not just electricity—double between 2008 and 2011? No. The increase in megawatt hours was about 25 percent, according to EIA data and estimates.” (Louis Jacobson, “Barack Obama says, ‘We’ve Doubled Our Use Of Renewable Energy,’” PolitiFact, 9/11/12)

  • From 2009 To 2011, Renewable Energy Produced Has Only Increased By 1.62 Quadrillion Btu, A 21.27 Percent Increase. (Table 1.2 Primary Energy Production By Source, Energy Information Administration , Accessed 9/11/12)

Primary Energy Production By Source, 2009-2011 (quadrillion Btu)

Year

Fossil

Nuclear

Renewable

Total

         

2009

56.685

8.356

7.616

72.657

2010

58.249

8.434

8.136

74.820

2011

60.670

8.259

9.236

78.165

(Table 1.2 Primary Energy Production By Source, Energy Information Administration , Accessed 9/11/12)

Under Obama, Electricity Generation From Renewables Hasn’t Even Doubled. “The agency’s tables include several additional categories of renewable energy, including hydroelectric, geothermal and various types of biomass energy. If you put them all together by BTUs, wind energy in 2011 accounted for 11 percent of all renewable-energy production. That’s not 11 percent of all energy production, including coal, oil and natural gas—that’s 11 percent of just the production from renewable sources. Solar, meanwhile, was even smaller. It accounted for about 1 percent of all renewable energy production. If you look at all types of electricity generation from renewables, the increase isn’t double between 2008 and 2011—it’s 55 percent.” (Louis Jacobson, “Barack Obama says, ‘We’ve Doubled Our Use Of Renewable Energy,’” PolitiFact, 9/11/12)