The wind industry is setting wind production records virtually every month, and wind power increased 16% from January to June 2012. Yet, total renewable energy generation dropped about 5% during the first 6 months of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/pdf/epm.pdf. Why?
Lower river flows caused hydro generation to fall 14.3%, and hydro production still dominates the renewable energy totals, accounting for more than half of all renewable energy electricity. While total renewable energy generation dipped so far in 2012, renewable electricity now routinely accounts for more than 13% of America's power.
Hydro typically provides 7% or more, and wind is getting close to providing 4% of the nation's power. Moreover, the EIA data is not catching about half of the solar generation that is distributed generation--an increasingly important data point.
Were renewable energy not on the grid, electricity bills would be much higher and the nation's electricity supply would be unreliable.