Wind and solar more than nuclear for the first time in the United States

Strong points :

  • The EIA data also shows that increasing wind and solar electricity generation as well as geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass energy account for about 30% of total US electricity.
  • Coal continues to be the backbone of electricity generation in the United States, but its trend is declining. Coal-based electricity was down about 4% last year.

Data from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) SUN DAY campaign analysis found that wind and solar power sources produced 17.96% more electricity than nuclear power plants in the United States. This is the first time the United States has produced more solar and wind power than nuclear in the country’s history. Even as there is widespread skepticism in this country about the viability of solar and wind, the question is whether this will allow unhindered growth of solar and wind.

The EIA data also shows that increasing wind and solar electricity generation as well as geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass energy account for about 30% of total US electricity. A year ago, this share of clean energy in the United States was 20%, which is not negligible.

United States 19.2 GW of solar energy in 2020

Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign, said: “Despite headwinds such as the COVID pandemic, grid access issues and disruptions to global supply chains, solar and wind remain on the right track”.

He added: “Furthermore, by overtaking nuclear power by ever-widening margins, they illustrate the folly of trying to revive California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear plant and Michigan’s just-retired Palisades reactor rather than focus on acceleration. growth of renewable energies.

The analysis indicates that there is no emission of carbon dioxide in the process of generating nuclear energy, which is the main greenhouse gas, but the nuclear waste generated in nuclear power plants is incredibly dangerous and difficult to eliminate. While this may be debatable in today’s sky-high fossil fuel prices, the emergence of solar and wind as significant contributors in their own right is to be welcomed in the world’s largest economy.

Especially since coal remains the backbone of electricity production in the United States, although in decline. Coal-based electricity in the country fell by around 4% last year. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated in one of its reports that to achieve net zero goals under the Paris Agreement by 2050, global wind and solar power would need to represent 20% of total electricity by 2025 and 70% by 2050.

Ember, Phil MacDonald, COO, SUN DAY Campaign, said, “Wind and solar are breaking records around the world. The process of remodeling the existing energy system has begun. Wind and solar provide a solution to the “trilemma” of achieving a sustainable, affordable and secure energy supply. This decade, they must be deployed with lightning speed.