Renewables Outpace Nuclear
For the first time since the beginning of the nuclear era, renewable energy sources have outpaced nuclear power. The U.S. Electric Power Monthly for April 2017 finds that biomass, geothermal, hydropower, utility-scale and distributed solar, and wind are providing a greater share of the nation’s electricity than nuclear power.
The tipping point was reached in March. Then, renewables generated 21.6% of the nation’s power requirement while nuclear generated 20.24% Then in April, renewables generated 22.98% versus nuclear’s 19.19% share. And the trend lines continue: In a year, renewable capacity has increased by 12.1% while nuclear has dropped by 2.9%.
Comparing the first four months of 2017 with the first four months of 2016, solar grew by 37.9%, wind by 14.2%, with smaller increases in hydropower and geothermal. (Biomass and geothermal were essentially flat.) In April, solar hit another milestone, providing 2.33% of the nation’s power requirement.