Solar Muscles Coal Aside

Cool Renewable Energy Prevails: Hope Amidst Policy Shifts

Coal has been a historically significant source of energy in the United States. However, the share of energy production from coal has been steadily declining in recent years, while clean energy sources have been on the rise.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2020, coal accounted for approximately 19% of the total energy production in the United States. This marked a notable decrease compared to previous years. On the other hand, clean energy sources such as natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy (including solar, wind, hydroelectric, and biomass) collectively accounted for the majority of energy production in the country.

It is important to note that the energy landscape is dynamic and subject to change. Ongoing shifts in policies, market dynamics, and technological advancements are continuously influencing the energy mix in the United States. Therefore, for the most up-to-date and precise information regarding the current percentage of energy production from coal versus clean energy, referring to recent reports from organizations like the U.S. Energy Information Administration would be advisable.

In a welcome turn of events, Inside Climate has brought forth some encouraging news. Despite the policy changes that unfolded during the Trump administration, a few key initiatives managed to withstand the storm, including U.S. tax incentives for renewable energy sources. The fortitude of both social and market forces, which have been instrumental in pushing coal aside, persisted. Notably, Europe, China, developing nations, as well as numerous American cities and states, have emerged as beacons of leadership, demonstrating tangible progress in the transition to clean energy. Renewables now hold a distinct advantage, outshining traditional alternatives in terms of cost-effectiveness.

The International Energy Agency affirms this paradigm shift, highlighting the significant drop in costs for solar photovoltaics. Since 2010, the price of new solar photovoltaics has plummeted by an impressive 70%. This dramatic reduction positions solar power as a formidable competitor to coal. In fact, the agency reports that more than half of Europe's coal plants are currently operating at a loss. These developments underscore the vitality of renewable energy and instill confidence in its potential to reshape our energy landscape.

Amidst these positive trends, it is crucial to remain proactive. If available, opting for your local green energy plan is an impactful way to support and contribute to the clean energy transition. By making this choice, individuals can align their energy consumption with sustainable practices, fostering a brighter future for all.

While challenges persist, the resilience of renewables and the increasing cost competitiveness of clean energy solutions inspire hope. As we navigate the complexities of our changing world, let us remember that the power to shape a sustainable future lies within our collective actions. Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images