2011 was, it’s generally agreed, a crappy year. There were tornados in the US, flooding in Asia, an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, and financial turmoil in Europe. Even the Arab Spring, which we’ve all been so excited about, has yet to produce any definitively democratic governments.

But here’s a statistic to feel a bit warmer about: 2011 was the year renewable energy overtook nuclear energy in the US.

You might recall the milestone was first reported back in July, when the Energy Information Administration released figures for power generation in the first three months of the year. They showed that renewable sources were providing around 12% of the US’ energy production. Nuclear was only providing 2%.