Turbines from the Roth Rock wind farm spin on the spine of Backbone Mountain next to the Mettiki Coal processing plant on Aug. 23, 2022 in Oakland, Maryland.
Electricity generated from renewables surpassed coal in the United States for the first time in 2022, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced Monday. Renewables also surpassed nuclear generation in 2022 after first doing so last year.
Growth in wind and solar significantly drove the increase in renewable energy and contributed 14 percent of the electricity produced domestically in 2022. Hydropower contributed 6 percent, and biomass and geothermal sources generated less than 1 percent.
California produced 26 percent of the national utility-scale solar electricity followed by Texas with 16 percent and North Carolina with 8 percent. The most wind generation occurred in Texas, which accounted for 26 percent of the U.S. total followed by Iowa (10 percent) and Oklahoma (9 percent).
“This booming growth is driven largely by economics,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. “Over the past decade, the levelized cost of wind energy declined by 70 percent, while the levelized cost of solar power has declined by an even more impressive 90 percent. Renewable energy is now the most affordable source of new electricity in much of the country,” added Wetstone.
Coal is projected to decline from 20 percent last year to 17 percent this year.