Renewable energy beats coal in US power generation for the first time

Wind and solar generation grew in the US due to an increase in generating capacity, new report suggests

US renewable electricity surpassed coal power generation for the first time last year.

That’s according to the US Energy Information Administration which estimates that renewable energy sources, including wind, solar hydro and geothermal continued to outperform nuclear generation in 2022.

The growth in wind and solar generating capacity drove the increase in wind and solar generation, with utility-scale solar capacity increasing from 61GW in 2021 to 71GW in 2022.

The data also shows that wind capacity also grew from 133GW in 2021 to 141GW in 2022.

Meanwhile, hydropower generation remained unchanged at 6% and biomass and geothermal sources’ shares remained less than 1%.

Coal-fired generation decreased from 23% in 2021 to 20% in 2022 as a number of coal-fired power plants were retired and the remaining ones were used less frequently.

Nuclear generation’s share decreased from 20% in 2021 to 19% in 2022, following the Palisades nuclear power plant’s retirement in May 2022.

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