In 2020, renewables overtook coal as the second most common source of electricity in the United States.

 


 After overtaking coal-fired production and nuclear power in 2020, renewable energy generation became the second most-used electricity source in the United States, behind only natural gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration. 

According to the EIA, coal powered energy generation in the United States fell 20% year over year in 2020, while total renewables grew 9%.


Wind, the most frequent renewable energy source in the United States, increased by 14% year over year.


Utility-scale solar power from installations larger than 1 MW increased by 26%, while small-scale solar grew by 19%. 

According to the EIA, nuclear electric generation fell 2% year over year as many nuclear power plants retired and others saw slightly higher maintenance-related outages.

 Coal-fired electricity generation peaked in the United States in 2007, at 2,016 billion kWh, according to the EIA, but much of that has since been replaced or converted to natural gas-fired generation.

In just five years, coal has fallen from first to third.

"Until 2016, coal was the leading source of electricity in the United States," according to the EIA. "In 2020, renewables and nuclear power provided more electricity than coal."

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