U.S. Renewable Energy Tops Coal in 2019
The data bucks a long-running trend (since 1885)
Last year, U.S. annual energy consumption from renewable sources surpassed coal consumption for the first time since before 1885, when wood and hydropower were the only commercial-scale sources of renewable energy. Compared with 2018, coal consumption in the United States decreased nearly 15 percent, and total renewable energy consumption grew by 1 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
“This outcome mainly reflects the continued decline in the amount of coal used for electricity generation over the past decade as well as growth in renewable energy, mostly from wind and solar,” EIA said.
Coal was used in the early 1800s as fuel for steam-powered boats and trains and making steel. It was first used to generate electricity in the 1880s, according to EIA.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have spent the past decade reducing dependence on carbon-intensive power generation. As a result, their current fuel mix is more than 50 percent carbon free. Coal-fired generation makes up only 5 percent of the portfolio, compared with the national average of 13 percent.
More Power news for you