According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Electric Power Monthly report, which contains data through April 30, 2021, electrical generation by renewable energy sources, which includes biomass, geothermal, and hydropower, in addition to solar, and wind, accounted for 25.7% of total U.S. electricity production In April, a new record.
As an individual resource, solar output during the month was 29.9% greater than April 2020 and it has seen a 26.1% gain in the first third of 2021 over the same period 2020.
Wind output made comparable strides to solar during both April and the first third of 2021, with both of these resources stepping up to help shoulder the renewable load, as output by hydropower, biomass, and geothermal all decreased to start the year.
As could be expected, with solar and wind climbing their way up the generation shares, nuclear and fossils have fallen in their shares. Electrical generation by natural gas during the first third of 2021 fell by 8.4% compared to the first four months of 2020. Natural gas’ share of the nation’s electrical generation during the first third of last year was 39.1%, but diminished to 34.7% this year.
Coal generated 2.2% less electricity than renewables during the first third of 2021 and 29.2% less in April alone. During the month it provided 22.0% of the nation’s total generation.
Nuclear electrical output decreased by 2.9% to 19.7% of the April total, enabling renewables to further solidify their lead. Collectively, renewables outpaced nuclear power during both the first third of 2021 and the month of April alone by 14.2% and 33.5%, respectively.
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