The latest good news comes from the U.S., where the country’s slowing economy has boosted renewable energy, with power generation sources like solar, wind and hydro overtaking coal-fired power for 40 straight days.
A report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) credits the boost to low gas prices, warmer weather and a huge dip in electricity demand, thanks to stay-at-home orders requiring businesses to close and people to stay put.
The institute has called the findings a “milestone” in the U.S. transition to clean energy.
The longest previous stretch of renewable superiority lasted 38 days in April 2019, CBS News reports. Coal is typically the No. 1 fuel choice given its low cost, but in April, it held just 15.3 per cent of the market share, the publication adds.
In 2008, coal controlled over half of the power market in the U.S. In January, it fell below 20 per cent for the first time in decades, the IEEFA reports.
It’s possible, the institute adds, that renewable energy could exceed coal annually in 2021, which could be further accelerated by the pandemic.
Overall U.S. electricity consumption is projected to fall 3 per cent this year, largely due to reduced demand from the commercial and industrial sectors, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Residential demand is also expected to fall due to milder winter and summer weather, Reuters reports.
The EIA expects renewables to grow 11 per cent because of their low operating costs.
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