Renewable energy sources – especially solar and wind power – now dominate new US power plants. However, they do not dominate the production of electricity in the country.
December 2021 Renewable Energy Production
In December 2021, renewable energy sources in the United States accounted for 23.8% of electricity generation. Wind energy alone was 11.9% and solar energy 2.7%.
The good news is that this is especially high from December 2019 and December 2020. In December 2019, these figures were 17.5% of renewable energy, 7.8% of wind energy and 1.6% of solar energy. In December 2020, they improved to 19.4%, 9.2% and 2.2%, respectively. Thus, you can see that all new solar and wind power leads to a significant increase in electricity generation from renewable sources. Simply put, the network is so large and power plants are so long-lived that even 100% of the new energy capacity from renewable power plants means a slight increase in the share of renewable energy in electricity supply.
In December 2019 and December 2020, both nuclear and coal generated more electricity than renewable energy sources. In December 2021, renewable energy sources surpassed both of them and gained strong leadership – 23.8% of electricity from nuclear power plants, 20.6% from coal-fired power plants and 17.5% from coal-fired power plants.
Interestingly, hydropower (part of the renewable energy supply) also saw a leap in production during that period. It rose from 6.3% in December 2019 and 6.2% in December 2020 to 7.5% in December 2021.
Now let’s look at full annual comparisons.
2021 Renewable Energy Production
It’s a similar story for the whole year, but the numbers aren’t as good as they were in December – maybe it’s a sign that the story continues to improve from month to month, or it’s just due to changes in the seasons and winter. a great month for wind energy.
Renewable sources accounted for 21% of electricity in the United States in 2021, up from 18.3% in 2019 and 20.3% in 2020.
The sun and wind make up the majority of this cake, accounting for 13% of all U.S. electricity production in 2021, up from 9.7% in 2019 and 11.6% in 2020.
Renewable energy sources have already reached the point of intersection with coal and nuclear power in 2020, but the bad news is that renewable energy sources fell slightly below coal levels again in 2020 – from 21% to 21.6%.
To take a closer look at the numbers listed above and a few other numbers, and / or to see the interactive versions of the diagrams above, sign up for CleanTechnica Pro and check in there tomorrow night (log in here).
You can also view source information on the US EIA website here and here. For more historical context, see our previous reports on electricity generation in the United States.
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