U.S. power generation from renewables topped coal for the first time in April
U.S. power generation from renewables was higher than coal in April for the first time, new Energy Information Administration data shows.
Why it matters: It's a milestone that shows the sweeping changes underway in the country's electricity sector.
By the numbers: Renewables provided 23% of total generation in April while coal, which has been steadily losing market share to gas and renewables for years, slipped to 20%.
But, but, but: It's likely to flip back soon. Overall power demand is lowest in the spring and fall when heating and cooling demand are relatively low.
- "[G]eneration from ... gas, coal, and nuclear is often at its lowest point during these months as some generators undergo maintenance," EIA said.
- EIA projects that on an annual basis, coal will still generate more than renewables this year and next year.
The bottom line: Absent some unlikely reversal of current trends, April's dynamic will become the norm in the years ahead.
- The central scenario in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook sees renewables overtaking coal for good on an annual basis in the mid-2020s.
- Yes, but: Don't forget they've underestimated renewables' growth in the past.