Renewable Energy Exceeds Nuclear Energy, Coal Production in 2022

The United States, much like several other Western nations, is keen on cutting its carbon emissions as part of worldwide efforts to tackle climate change and global warming. These green-energy plans generally involve replacing fossil fuel energy sources such as coal and oil, which generate significant amounts of greenhouse gases with cleaner, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Given the country’s reliance on energy sources such as coal and nuclear energy, a mass transition to clean energy will undoubtedly be a herculean task. Eliminating fossil fuels from the U.S. energy mix will call for significant investment and will require decades to successfully implement.

However, data from the USA Energy Information Administration shows that America is making good headway in its green-energy goals. The Energy Information Administration revealed that for the first nine months of the year, nearly 23% of America’s electricity generation was from renewable energy sources, exceeding the energy generated by coal and nuclear power plants.

As a whole, renewable energy sources saw an increased electrical output of 15.44% year-over-year, with renewable energy providing 22.66% of the country’s electricity for the first nine months of 2022 compared to 20.33% over the same period in 2021. The generation of wind electricity went up by 18.64% and accounted for 9.75% of total electricity generation in the country. Solar power generation increased by 25.68%, providing 5.01% of the nation’s electricity while geothermal power generation grew by 6.95%.

Overall renewable power generation over the first three-quarters of the year eclipsed both nuclear and coal power by 28.25% and 15.52% respectively. This data suggests that even though the U.S. still has a long way to go before it runs on mostly clean energy, it has begun taking solid steps toward that future.

The SUN DAY campaign even stated that renewable energy had moved up from fourth place to second place in the mix of electricity-generating sources, demoting coal and nuclear energy to third and fourth place respectively.

However, data from the Energy Information Administration also suggests that the growth in renewable energy generation may slow down over the last third of the year. Wind generation in September of this year went down by 6.81% compared to September 2021 while electricity output from hydropower plants was reduced by a little more than 1%.

In addition, 21.02% more output by solar and 5.1% by geothermal power plants ensured that the total percentage of renewables in the country’s energy mix was up by 1.45%.

Despite the declining share of coal in the energy mix of the United States, industry actors such as Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU) are still doing brisk business amid the current energy crunch around the world.

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