Energy, Geopolitics, North America, Oil, Renewable

Greening America: US Renewable Energy Sector Close to a Tipping Point

The United States’ renewable energy industry is on the verge of a tipping point as the sector is close to generating more electricity than coal does during the month of April, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said in one of its reports. Coal has been already replaced by natural gas, a greener energy option, and is now facing even more pressure from wind and solar power.
“Five years ago this never would have been close to happening,” Dennis Wamstead, research analyst at IEEFA, commented. “The transition that’s going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal.” Even a decade ago, America’s green energy had little representation beyond the hydro-power but investment – first into wind and then solar – have dragged down the cost of these renewable technologies. At the same time, increased awareness about the environment and climate change has led American companies and households as well as policy makers call for greener energy. “Renewables are just a better bet at the moment,” Mr. Wamstead said.
The IEEFA report also noted that US government data forecasts that renewable energy – namely hydro, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal – will begin to exceed coal in 2019 and 2020 occasionally. In other words, this year, renewables will probably start to create more energy than coal’s remaining capacity, at least on a monthly basis, the US Energy Information Administration said. This is, however, not only an outcome of a shift towards cleaner energy but it is also driven by seasonality – for example, some coal plants close down for maintenance during spring when demand for electricity is not high.

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