Figures from the US Department of Energy indicate that a new milestone was set for the country in April when more electricity was generated via renewable sources than from coal. Renewable sources such as wind and solar energy generated 23 per cent of total US electricity in April compared to coal, which provided 20 per cent. The Department of Energy said that this reflected the long-term growth of renewable energy and the long-term decline in coal generation.
Wind generation set a new monthly record in April, generating 30.2GWh, according to the DOE. Solar power set a monthly high in June with 7.8GWh, and the DOE said that it expected this to be exceeded this summer.
Coal-fired generation peaked a decade ago, and has been declining. Over the last four year, 47GW of coal-fired capacity has been retired in the USA, and virtually no new capacity has come on-line. The DOE expects another 4.1GW of coal-fired capacity to be retired this year.