CNN: America's renewable energy capacity is now greater than coal


Oct 25, 2017
America's coal industry has already been left in the dust by natural gas. Now it's under immense pressure from the renewable energy boom.

The renewable energy sector had slightly more installed capacity than coal in April, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report.

That means US power plants can produce more energy from clean sources than coal for the first time in history, according to the SUN DAY Campaign, a nonprofit research group supporting sustainable energy. The breakthrough reflects the plunging cost of solar and wind as well as heightened environmental concern about coal.

"Coal has no technology path," said Jeff McDermott, managing partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on clean energy. "It's got nowhere to go but extinction."
The clean energy revolution is on the verge of a tipping point.
Also in April, the renewable energy sector was projected to have generated more electricity than coal, according to a separate report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
. That transition was partially driven by seasonal issues.
At the same time, America has drastically cut back on its appetite for coal. Since peaking in 2008, US coal consumption has plunged 39% to the lowest level in 40 years, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

"The government can tap on the brakes or accelerate this movement -- but this progress will continue moving forward," said Matthew Hoza, senior energy analyst at consulting firm BTU Analytics. "For the most part, the public is calling for renewables."
More at the link.
Oct 27, 2017
Good. Unfortunately, base load power is now largely provided by natural gas, which isn't much better. Next gen nuclear is needed to replace them.


Oct 25, 2017
While Natural Gas was crucial in cutting emissions by getting people off coal, it also needs to be replaced.


Oct 27, 2017
People have already mentioned installed capacity vs energy but also, this includes rooftop solar which has a lower usage factor and a higher maintenance cost than transmission level solar.
Oct 27, 2017
And two more coal plants are shutting down by the end of this year, making Washington state coal-free:
Two aging Montana coal plants, part-owned by Puget Sound Energy, will cease operations by the end of 2019, more than two years before the previously announced phaseout date.

The plants, Colstrip 1 and 2, were built in the mid-1970's and cannot compete with natural gas and renewable energy.
Puget Sound Energy is part-owner of Units 1 and 2. The Bellevue-based utility must live with recently passed legislation that would phase out generation and/or use of coal power in Washington by 2025.


Oct 27, 2017
Hold on ... this is actually really positive news? On the EtcetEra side?

I need to take a moment to appreciate this.

Also, suck it, coal.