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Solar, Wind Top Nuclear Electric Output

For the first time in 33 years, green energy outdistance nuclear power plant output this spring.

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.

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