Good news from the Energy Information Administration, the primary authority in the US federal government on energy figures. The EIA reports that energy from renewables made up 21% of US electricity production last year. For the first time in history, renewable energies (hydro, wind and solar) were the second largest source of energy for electricity generation in the US. The total amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources increased by 9% between 2019 and 2020.

US hydroelectric plant electricity power generation

Share of renewable sources rises sharply

According to the Clean Power Association, renewable energy plants with a total capacity of 26 gigawatts have been installed. That is 80% more than in 2019. Total electricity capacity from renewable sources in the US is currently 170 gigawatts. About 78% of all new electricity generation facilities installed in the US come from wind and solar energy. These forms of power generation are clearly the future of the US power grid.

Sun, wind and hydropower

In total, about half of the green energy in the US now comes from solar and wind energy. The other half comes from hydroelectric power (hydropower). Wind production increased by 14%, the amount of solar energy increased even more. The proceeds of large-scale projects (> 1 megawatt) on solar energy grew by as much as 26%. There was an increase of 19% in small-scale solar installations, such as solar poles on the roofs of houses.

US data electricity generation figures sources 2020 EIA

Share of energy from coal halved

The US renewable energy sources now have a higher yield than the coal plants. They provide a share of 19%. The share of nuclear power plants is 20%. Coal is dirty and expensive. That is why coal-fired power plants in the US have been massively replaced in recent years by wind farms and natural gas plants. The share of energy generated by coal-fired power stations has decreased by more than half in the last ten years.

Now mainly energy from natural gas

Until 2016, coal was the largest electricity producer in the US. The share of coal-fired power plants has since fallen sharply because renewable energy sources and natural gas are much cheaper. Natural gas is the most important source of energy for electricity generation in the US with a share of about 40%. Naturally, this also releases CO2, but that is much less (about half) than that of coal-fired power stations.

US solar energy electricity green power solar panels

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