RENEWABLE ENERGY OUTPUT IN US BEATS COAL – FIRST TIME SINCE 1885
Good news! Energy production from renewable resources in the US has topped coal for the first time since 1885. Coal consumption has declined for six straight years – down another 15% in 2019, while renewable sources have gained a modest 1% for the year. Just a decade ago, coal accounted for nearly 50% of the electricity generated in the US. The effort for more green energy has pushed that percentage to under 20% for this year (based on projections).
Why is this good?
Per the U.S. Energy Information Administration (eia.gov), coal is responsible for the highest amount of CO2 emitted amongst various fuels. Different types of coal range from 214.3-228.6 pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (BTU). This is compared to a fuel like natural gas, which only emits 117 pounds of CO2 per million BTU.
Renewable energy still has a long way to go, accounting for just 11% of total US energy consumption last year. By comparison, Petroleum made up 37% of the total and natural gas made 32%. This is clearly a small victory for clean energy and may have more to do with the expense and upkeep of coal energy, but it is a victory nonetheless. As solar and wind energy become cheaper and more efficient, they should command a larger share of the total output in the US and worldwide.
Source: Full Story from The Guardian
Milman, Oliver, “Renewables surpass coal in US energy generation for first time in 130 years.” The Guardian. 3 June 2020