Renewable energy sources generated more electricity than nuclear energy in the U.S. for the first time in 2021, data shows.
Renewables -- wind, hydropower, solar, biomass, and geothermal -- generated 795 million MWh of electricity last year, while nuclear accounted for 778 million MWh, according to data from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA).
New utility-scale solar and wind accounted for the increase in generating capacity for renewables. The EIA data did not include any small-scale or distributed solar power generation.
Natural gas remains the most prevalent source for electricity generation in the U.S. with 1,474 MWh in 2021. Coal-fired generation increased for the first time since 2014 and generated more electricity than both renewables and nuclear.
Wind generation increased by 12% in 2021 while utility-scale solar increased by 28%. Hydropower, meanwhile, fell to its lowest level since 2015 as drought conditions in the West affected production.