Thursday, June 27, 2019

USA: Renewable Energy Continues to Increase at Coal's Expense

U.S. electricity generation from renewables surpassed coal in April (EIA)

In April 2019, U.S. monthly electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time based on data in Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s Electric Power Monthly. Renewable sources provided 23% of total electricity generation to coal’s 20%. This outcome reflects both seasonal factors as well as long-term increases in renewable generation and decreases in coal generation. EIA includes utility-scale hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass in its definition of renewable electricity generation.

U.S. coal generation has declined from its peak a decade ago. Since the beginning of 2015, about 47 GW of U.S. coal-fired capacity has retired, and virtually no new coal capacity has come online. Based on reported plans for retirements, EIA expects another 4.1 GW of coal capacity will retire in 2019, accounting for more than half of all anticipated power plant retirements for the year.