Renewable Electricity Generation Sets US Record

For the first time during the month of March of this year, 10% of wind and solar energy made up U.S. electricity generation, marking a significant achievement for renewable electricity generation. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA), wind energy made up 8% of US electricity generation, while solar power generated the other 2%. To compare, in 2016, wind and solar energy made up 7% of U.S. electricity generation.

It is predicted that the month of April saw similar numbers, maybe even exceeding the 10% mark for renewable electricity generation in the U.S. This is because states that make up the largest wind capacity like Texas achieve this in the spring months. For solar power, the summer is the best season for higher production. Texas was the state that produced the most wind and solar power in March 2017, even though Iowa claims the largest total number of shares of renewables, making up 37% of its energy production. 

Even though renewables like solar and wind make up only a tiny percentage of U.S. electricity generation, in conjunction with the Trump Administration’s lack of interest in investments for growth on a federal level, there is still a rising growth rate on a global level. With the declining costs of renewable resources like wind turbines and solar panels over the years, renewable electricity generation may be cost-competitive with certain fossil fuels like natural gas and coal in the future. This in turn will attract even more investing and job creation for renewables, creating a major appeal factor for renewable electricity generation over its usual counterparts (coal, natural gas etc.).

Some major countries that are pushing for renewable electricity generation, and some that are almost fully dependent on renewable resources:

  • Sweden: Setting their goal to reach 100% renewable energy by 2040
  • Costa Rica: Setting their goal to go carbon-neutral by 2021
  • China: Investing $360 billion by 2020, creating 13 million jobs
  • Nicaragua: Aiming for 90% renewable energy by 2020. Already has 54% electricity generation coming from renewables
  • Germany: Top solar PV capacity as of 2014, creating 78% of their daily electricity from renewable sources
  • 95% of electricity generation from renewables
  • Denmark: Setting their goal for 100% fossil-fuel-free by 2050. Achieved highest percentage of wind power worldwide at 42% in 2015