Renewable energy sources generated more electricity than coal for the first time ever last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced in March.
Wind and solar energy produced 14% of U.S.-produced electricity in 2022 with other renewables (including hydro, biomass, and geothermal) generating an additional 7%. Coal produced 20% of electricity generation and methane gas accounted for 39%.
“This booming growth is driven largely by economics,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. “Over the past decade, the levelized cost of wind energy declined by 70%, while the levelized cost of solar power has declined by an even more impressive 90%.”
While challenges related to building the transmission lines necessary to get wind- and solar-generated electricity onto the grid, the economics of renewable energy are becoming clear. “Renewable energy is now the most affordable source of new electricity in much of the country,” Wetstone said.