Based on statistics from the U.S. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), coal and nuclear power generation were finally eclipsed by renewable energy sources in the United States last year.
According to Climate Change: The Associated Press, solar and wind energy accounted for 14 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2022, driving the surge in renewables. Hydropower accounted for 6% of the domestically generated electricity, while geothermal and biomass sources contributed less than 1% each.
Stephen Porter, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and assistant provost for sustainability at Brown University, said: “I’m glad to see we’ve crossed that threshold, but that is only a step in what has to be a very rapid and much cheaper journey.” The Associated Press quoted Porder as saying: “It’s got to be a very rapid and much cheaper journey.”
California produced 26% of the utility-scale solar energy. At 16 percent, Texas was the second-largest solar producer, while North Carolina ranked third with 8 percent.
Texas contributed 26% of all wind energy produced in the United States, followed by Iowa with 10% and Oklahoma with 9%.
According to Gregory Wetstone, president and chief executive officer of the American Council on Renewable Energy, renewable energy is currently the least expensive new electricity source in many areas of the nation.
According to Wetstone, the economy is a major factor in this explosive increase, as quoted by The Associated Press. The levelized cost of solar power has decreased by an even more astounding 90% during the past ten years, while the levelized cost of wind energy has decreased by 70%.
The EIA predicts that solar energy will expand from four to five percent, while wind power will go from eleven percent in 2022 to twelve percent this year.
The energy balance is forecast to remain stable at 39 percent natural gas and fall to 17 percent coal this year from 20 percent coal in 2022.
Because it has been primarily replacing coal-fired power plants, natural gas has been a big factor in cutting greenhouse gas emissions from electricity, according to Melissa Lott, director of research for the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, as quoted by The Associated Press. Moving forward, you must quickly reduce emissions; you cannot allow them to keep rising.
The number of clean energy projects that went online last year was impacted by the Inflation Reduction Act, according to Lott, which included $369 billion in investments for clean energy and the environment. This act was supposed to speed up renewable energy projects.
Wetstone was quoted by The Hill as saying, “Although more work still needs to be done to meet our country’s climate commitments, the Inflation Reduction Act has given us a clear road toward the clean energy future that Americans desire and climate experts believe we urgently need.”
Whetstone continued, “The legislation’s historic clean energy tax platform is expected to further accelerate the development of renewable energy in the United States, generate hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs here in the country, and contribute to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.”