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US renewables provide more electricity than coal in January-February

Author: Roland Peschetz. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

April 27 (Renewables Now) - Renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) produced 10.6% more electricity than coal during the first two months of 2020 and also topped nuclear power in February, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of recently-released data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" (with data through February 29, 2020) reveals that solar and wind both showed continued, strong growth, expanding faster than all other energy sources. During the first two months of this year, solar-generated electricity expanded by 32.0% compared to the same period in 2019 and provided almost 2.3% of the nation’s total, while wind grew by 19.8% and accounted for over 8.7% of total generation.

Thus, wind and solar together accounted for a bit more than 11.0% of total US electrical production. Combined with hydropower, biomass, and geothermal, renewables provided 20.3% of total electrical output.

EIA’s data were even more dramatic for just the month of February when solar ballooned by 40.3% and wind expanded by 27.1%. Hydropower also experienced strong growth, increasing its output by 14.9% compared to a year earlier. The mix of all renewables provided 21.4% of the nation’s total electricity for the month. Moreover, renewables produced 21.9% more electricity than coal whose output was 30.0% lower than a year earlier. They also outperformed nuclear power by 3.6%.

“If present trends continue, electrical generation by the mix of renewable energy sources could permanently exceed that of either coal or nuclear power or both in 2020,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, “And if not this year, then certainly that will happen in 2021.”

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NOTE: The figures cited above include EIA's "estimated small-scale solar photovoltaic" (e.g., rooftop solar systems) which accounted for about 32% of total solar output.

The latest issue of EIA's "Electric Power Monthly" was officially posted late on April 24, 2020. For the data cited in this news update, see:

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_es1a

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_es1b

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The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1992 to aggressively promote 100% reliance on sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels and as a strategy for addressing climate change.

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Ken Bossong is Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organiсation promoting sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.

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