Good Environmental News: Renewable Sources Have Surpassed Coal in Generating Our Electricity
According to a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEFA), renewable sources of electricity such as solar, wind, and hydropower, surpassed coal this Spring. Coal was once the backbone of America's energy grid, but has become relatively more expensive compared to natural gas and renewable sources. Moreover, coal is a much dirtier fuel, releasing more greenhouse gases per unit of energy than any other electricity source.
Reuters: "The boost for renewables is due to a seasonal increase in low-cost solar and hydro power generation, alongside an overall slump in electricity demand caused by coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Coal tends to be the first power source to be cut by utilities when demand falls because subsidized renewable sources are cheaper to operate and often backed by state clean-energy mandates."
As the economy picks up this summer power companies may be forced to use more coal to supplement renewables, but in the longer run coal will be phased out of the nation's energy mix despite Donald Trump's efforts to prop-up the industry. Electric companies are adding more wind and solar capacity and closing coal-fired plants as the states and businesses seek cleaner power sources to address air pollution and climate change.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content