Climate Change

29 Apr 2022

Renewables Generated More Electricity than Nuclear in the US For The First Time in 2021

29 Apr 2022  by   

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.


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