America’s Renewable Energy Capacity Has Surpassed Coal

Renewable Energy

According to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) report, the renewable energy sector has recently surpassed coal in the United States. This means that renewable energy sources can produce more energy than coal.

This should come as no surprise since renewable energy is now cheaper than running coal plants in the United States. In fact, compared to 2008, coal usage is down 40% and has lost its throne to natural gas.

Government regulations are no longer pushing the energy sector into a direction. Instead, it’s the public and economic areas that are moving the needle.

Solar and Wind on the Rise

Solar and Wind

While coal’s decline is a big factor, the rise in popularity of solar and wind energy is equally important. No new coal plants were added this year, but 102 solar units (1,473 MW) and 18 wind units (1,545 MW) were added according to the FERC report.

However, while the capacity of renewable energy sources is higher, they are still producing less energy overall than coal. This is due to renewable energy sources having lower capacity utilization.

Essentially, they are less efficient. A cloudy day can cripple solar energy output and weak winds can do the same for wind farms. Of course, this technology is getting better every year in this regard and most importantly, it is becoming cheaper.

It is very likely that renewable energy production will surpass coal in the next few years.

The Public Has Spoken

Businesses are at the mercy of their investors and that goes for power companies as well. For example, Con Edison, one of the largest utilities in the world, acquired $2.1 billion in wind and solar energy projects due to investor influence.

The movement towards clean energy is unavoidable and it’s not just happening in the US. The United Kingdom is the world’s leader in clean energy and has recently gone two weeks without using any coal.

It’s only a matter of time until renewable energy sources become king in the energy sector. The shrinking prices and public support are the driving factors behind this outcome.

One Reply to “America’s Renewable Energy Capacity Has Surpassed Coal”

  1. For 3rd World peoples with ‘green desires’, wind and solar farms are ultra expensive. Ethanol from sweet sorghum however can be a highly effective CO2 reducer (thru ‘absorbent’ sorghum farms and use as vehicle fuel) and can yield gross profit above 50% as well. 1st World companies, billion-dollar Climate Funds, and ethanol producers from Brazil, USA and India should hence set up joint ventures with 3rd World co-ops towards set up of medium-scale ethanol distilleries fed by sweet sorghum farms all over the tropics. Employee-owned co-ops tropics-wide will address wealth imbalances and create billions of jobs, thereby forming massive markets for all involved 1st World companies. Other high-profit green joint venture prospects include (for the Philippines): agroforests, forest resorts, mini hydropower nets, geothermal plants, E85 vehicles, agroforest biofuel, electric transports, etc. The profit motive should drive tech-savvy 1st World companies to the 3rd World tropics where people, businesses and governments know about global warming but can presently do next to nothing about it.

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