america's renewable energy usage surpasses coal for the first time ever
 

america's renewable energy usage surpasses coal for the first time ever

it looks as though the future of electricity in the US favours renewable energy as it surpasses the production of coal for the first time ever. according to reports, renewables including hydro, solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal generated more electricity than coal-fired plants in the month of april, and could continue to do so.

 

the EIA report shows renewable energy generating 2,322 and 2,271 thousand megawatt-hours (MWh/day) per day in april and may, respectively. this tops coal’s expected output of 1,997 and 2,239 thousand MWh/day during the same two months.

 

 

as per the institute for energy economics and financial analysis (IEFFA), these figures and projections are a first in american history. the organization says this trend will happen sporadically throughout the next several years, as renewable energy becomes cheaper and the world’s attention focuses on alternatives to fossil fuels and mitigating the effects of climate change.

 

 

despite the US president’s lack of enthusiasm when it comes to this issue, motivation for change can be felt, and globally. there is an increase in coverage on political figures and potential presidential candidates speaking up on the issue, and a recent CNN poll found that, in the united states, democratic voters care more about climate change than anything else. meanwhile, only today (may 2), the committee on climate change in the UK outlined potential plans to reach near-zero emissions by 2050.

 

 

then earlier this year, sixteen-year-old swedish climate activist greta thunberg was nominated for a nobel peace prize. thunberg initiated the school strike for climate movement in 2018 and was joined by an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world in protesting against climate change in march 2019.

 

the figures represent a development in the electric generation arena as coal consumption has dropped significantly, despite trump’s interest in reinvigorating its industry. coal has fallen out of favor in part due to decreasing costs of natural gas. the IEEFA points out natural gas surpassed coal for the last time in january 2018, and ‘has held the uncontested top spot in electricity generation ever since.’

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