U.S. energy consumption from renewables exceeded coal consumption for the first time since before 1885, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
That is mainly due to the continued decline in the amount of coal used for electricity generation over the last 10 years and the growth in renewables, mostly wind and solar, Kallanish Energy reports.
Compared to 2018, coal consumption in the U.S. dropped nearly 15% in 2019 and total renewable energy consumption grew by 1%, the federal agency said.
It said that total renewable energy consumption in the U.S. grew for the fourth year in a row to a record-high 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2019.
In 2019, electricity generated by wind surpassed hydro for the first time, it said.
Wind power is now the most-used source of renewable energy for electricity generation, it said.
It also reported that U.S. coal consumption in 2019 dipped for the sixth consecutive year to 11.3 quadrillion Btu, the lowest level since 1964.
Electricity generation from coal had declined sharply in the last 10 years and in 2019 fell to its lowest level in 42 years, it said.
About 90% of U.S. coal consumption is to produce electricity.
The EIA’s energy estimates date back to 1635.
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