Renewables generation has topped nuclear power plant output in America for the first time in more than three decades, according to new federal stats.
Utility scale wind and solar – large installations that are tops in efficiency – out-produced America’s aging fleet of nuclear power plants in March and April, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Back in 1984, hydroelectric dams – predominantly in the Pacific Northwest – accounted for a preponderance of America’s renewable energy. Water behind those dams this summer are ample compared to recent drought-stricken years, helping the surge in green energy generation.
Meanwhile, wind and solar are taking off.
‘More than 60 percent of all utility-scale electricity generating capacity that came online in 2016 was from wind and solar technologies,” EIA reported. “These sources contributed to record high levels of generation from both fuels: between March 2016 and March 2017, wind generation increased by 16 percent, and solar generation increased by 65 percent,” EIA said.
On the nuclear front, a number of plants have closed or plan to close in the face of sustained low natural gas prices which has boosted natural gas-fired generation.