The US Renewable Energy Achieves New Milestone

Green Mountain Wind Farm Texas

Creative Commons/Leaflet

As per the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data released recently in March and April 2017, United States got more electricity from renewable sources than nuclear power.

For the first time, renewable sources have surpassed the nuclear power generation since 1984. The renewable energy sources accounted for 19.35% of the total US power generation during the first quarter of the year 2017.

The main reason for the growth in renewables is due to the installations of new wind turbines and solar farms, and also the recent rise in hydroelectric power which is a result of heavy snow and rain in Western states in last winter. Out of the total renewable power generated more than 60% was due to the installations from wind and solar. The construction of new nuclear reactors has slowed down in the United States because of rising costs and strong public opposition. Also, the old reactors which started their operations in 1970 are being shut down due to ageing.

First Solar Desert Sunlight Solar Farm

Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior

As per the EIA reports, even today the United States of America receives nearly two-thirds of its electricity from burning fossil fuels despite such a rampant growth in renewables.

The study by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that the U.S. can generate most of its electricity from renewable energy by the year 2050. The study is based on the present growth in renewable energy investments being done in the country. It expects 80% renewables in future is possible with existing technologies in wind turbines, solar photovoltaics, biopower, geothermal, and hydropower. But it can only be achieved with the right policies and measures by the government. The report also states it will reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by almost 80%. But the energy experts say that the output from the nation’s nuclear plants will still be dominating the renewables for some more years.

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