The share of renewable energy sources in U.S. power production has surpassed that of coal for the first time on a monthly basis, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Renewable sources, including utility-scale hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, accounted for 23% of the country’s total electricity generation in April, versus 20% from coal, the EIA said.
“This outcome reflects both seasonal factors as well as long-term increases in renewable generation and decreases in coal generation,” the agency said in a release.
Record generation from wind and solar sources, with wind accounting for 30.2 million megawatt hours (MWh) in April and solar set to surpass a record monthly peak in June 2018 of 7.8 million MWh, this summer, was responsible for the overall increase in generation this spring, the EIA said.
U.S. power companies are expected to retire or convert from coal to gas coal-fired plants with over 9,900 megawatts (MW) of capacity in 2019, down from 13,000 MW in 2018.