A U.S. energy milestone is just around the corner
An inflection point in U.S. energy looks imminent.
Driving the news: Combined power generated by wind and solar is slated to eclipse coal-fired electricity next year, as the sources move in opposite directions.
Why it matters: The milestone, forecast by the Energy Department's independent statistics arm, helps tell the ongoing story of massive changes to the U.S. power mix.
The big picture: Coal has long declined thanks to pollution rules and relatively inexpensive and abundant natural gas — now by far the largest power source. Meanwhile, the march of renewables is fueled by cost declines, federal subsidies, state energy policies and more.
Zoom in: The Energy Information Administration sees gas with a 42% share of U.S. electricity next year, with coal at 15%, all renewables (not just wind and solar) at 24%, and nuclear at 19%.
The bottom line: The country's power mix is changing fast, but it's still a long way from the White House goal of 100% carbon-free power by 2035.