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Expand chart
Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

A federal report on U.S. carbon emissions helps to show the fast rise of wind and solar in recent years and why the potential retirement of nuclear plants makes it harder to deeply decarbonize the overall mix.

Driving the news: As the chart above shows, renewables are a rapidly growing share of the total amount of zero-carbon electricity the country produces, but nuclear still has by far the largest amount.

  • As plants potentially retire, those growing renewables must compensate for nuclear losses in addition to replacing fossil generation.
  • EIA's long-term outlook sees nuclear capacity falling by almost 20% in the next few decades, but the level of future natural gas prices could raise or reduce that amount a lot.

The big picture: The CO2 report unpacks forces that led to a 2.9% drop last year, including coal's continued slide, and a dip in transportation emissions following growth from 2012-2018.

  • Natural gas, which emits far less CO2 when burned than coal, is responsible for more of the ongoing declines in power sector CO2 emissions than renewables, it shows.

What's next: EIA's latest short-term outlook sees a 10% drop in U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions this year because the pandemic curtailed so much activity, but a nearly 5% rise in 2021.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 28, 2020 - Energy & Environment

The global investment slump

Data: IEA; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

A few days ago the International Energy Agency updated its analysis of the pandemic-fueled decline in investment.

Driving the news: IEA now sees global industry investment on the upstream (exploration and production) side falling by 35% this year, a slightly steeper drop than their prior analysis in May.

18 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.