Renewables to surpass coal in US electricity generation in April

The renewable energy industry in the US has been projected to generate more electricity than coal during April, according to a recent report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

This resembles the first month in US history that renewable energy will overtake the 240GW of electricity produced by coal-fired plants. Referencing latest monthly data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the report suggested renewables may even trump coal in May too.

IEEFA also indicated that renewables will begin to sporadically exceed coal in 2019 and 2020. However, renewable power isn’t expected to surpass coal on an annual basis for at least several years.

“Five years ago this never would have been close to happening,” said IEEFA research analyst Dennis Wamstead. “The transition that’s going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal.”

While investment into US renewable energy projects such as wind and solar farms have rocketed over the last decade, the coal sector has rapidly declined. The proportion of total power generation provided by coal tumbled from 45% in 2010 to 28% in 2018.

President Donald Trump’s promise to rejuvenate the coal industry has failed to arrest the decline thus far, with coal expected to further dip to 24% of US power generation in 2020.

“Renewables are just a better bet at the moment,” Wamstead added.