Numbers in from the U.S. now show that Americans in 2019, used more energy generated from renewable sources than coal for the first time since reliable record taking began 135 years ago.
A combination of solar and wind installations were leading factors behind the groundbreaking shift in energy generation stateside.
Wood as a source of fuel preceeded coal until the middle of the 18th century across much of the continental USA before coal came into its own around the time of the Civil War.
But, according to the most recent U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review, while total renewable energy consumption increased by 1% in 2019, compared to a year earlier, it was a 15% year on year decrease in reliance on coal that tipped the balance.
It was the sixth consecutive year of decline in coal use, to a level not seen since the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.
Gas consumption remains a significant factor in America’s overall energy mix, however, meaning that renewables are unlikely to make any further headway in the near future, although renewables being far more balanced across the various U.S. industries heavily reliant on localised generation capacity is helping push the numbers up; the nation’s industrial and transportation sectors remain the biggest consumers of electricity sourced from renewables.