Renewables generated more electricity than coal or nuclear in the US for the first time in 2020

Renewables generated more electricity than coal or nuclear in the US for the first time in 2020

By Lucy Jones  August 10th, 2021

21 per cent of electricity generated across the United States last year came from renewable sources.


A new report from the United States Energy Information Administration shows that renewable energy outperformed coal and nuclear for the first time ever in 2020. Approximately 21 per cent, or 834 billion kilowatt hours, of electricity generated in the States came from renewables, a result of increased wind and solar uptake across the country.

“Renewables surpassed both nuclear (790 billion kilowatt hours) and coal (774 billion kilowatt hours) for the first time on record. This outcome in 2020 was due mostly to significantly less coal use in US electricity generation and steadily increased use of wind and solar,” the report reads.

The report found that around half of America's renewable energy comes from solar and wind with the other half coming from hydroelectric power.

Overall, renewables were up by 9 per cent from 2019 and second only to natural gas which is still the leading generator of electricity in the US. From 2019-2020 wind generation increased by 14 per cent, large-scale solar projects increased by 26 per cent and rooftop solar installations increased by 19 per cent.

While the country still has a long way to go to transition to renewables, these results are a step in the right direction.

Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


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Lucy Jones

Lucy started her career working as a writer and editor in print and digital publishing. She went on to create content for Australia's leading sustainable fashion platform while completing her Master of Cultural Studies. Lucy spends her downtime at the beach, crocheting and hanging out with her cat Larry. She believes words can change the world and is stoked to help Planet Ark spread the message of positive environmental change.

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