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US Renewables to Hit New Record

03 May 16:00 by Steve Walia

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Consumption of renewable energy in America is set to exceed the volume of coal-produced energy for the first time in history this month.

Research by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), found that - as of April - energy produced from biomass, hydro, solar, geothermal and wind projects will exceed the amount of energy generated from coal plants.

The IIEFA believes that this new trend may well continue into May in a sign that shows how firmly America is now moving towards renewable energy production.

The body believes that this new energy balance will occur at different points over the next few years as renewable sources become less expensive and consumer demand instigates a change to cleaner fuel sources.

The growth of wind and solar power has been particularly strong. Wind energy is now generating 48 times more clean power than it was able to ten years ago. This is due to government subsidy incentives and lower-cost equipment.

The trend was supported by a seasonal drop in coal production, which tends to go down in spring as plants close for maintenance and energy consumption slows. However, even when these figures are factored in, the positive upswing in renewable energy balance is notable, particularly when the coal industry itself is ageing in the US and beginning to struggle in the energy market.

In fact, in 2018, coal consumption hit a 40-year low in the US. This was driven partly by cheaper natural gas and also by the growth of renewables, despite President Trump saying that he would take measures to support the coal industry.

However, there is still room for progress, as 80pc of America's energy is still provided by fossil fuels and renewables supply around 11pc at the moment.