In April of this year, renewable sources generated more energy than coal in the United States. Several factors, all tied into seasonality, contributed to this remarkable result. For instance, coal generators typically undergo maintenance in the spring because mild weather reduces demand for heating or air conditioning. In addition, snowpack melt leads to more energy from hydroelectric generators.
Another factor is record-high wind generation of 30.2 million megawatthours (MWh). This comes out to approximately 27 million homes powered solely by wind that month, or about 20% of all housing units in the United States.
Despite this single month of renewables surpassing coal in terms of energy generation, coal is expected to out-generate renewables every month for the rest of 2019. Indeed, the Energy Information Administration expects coal to dominate renewables on an annual basis for 2019 and 2020. However, they also predict renewables will outperform nuclear energy in 2020.
Find out more from the Energy Information Administration here.
Read more on the EIA’s short-term energy outlook here.