And for the first time ever, the combination of just wind and solar produce more electricity in April than the nation’s nuclear power plants — 17.96% more.
This is according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of data in EIA’s Electric Power Monthly report. The report also reveals that during the first third of this year, solar (including residential) expanded by 28.93%, while wind increased by 24.25%. Combined, solar and wind grew by 25.46% and accounted for more than one-sixth (16.67%) of U.S. electrical generation (wind: 12.24%, solar: 4.43%).
Hydropower also increased by 9.99% during the first four months of 2022. However, wind alone provided 70.89% more electricity than did hydropower. Together with contributions from geothermal and biomass, the mix of renewable energy sources expanded by 18.49% and provided 25.52% of the nation’s electricity during the first four months of 2022.
For the first third of the year, renewables outpaced coal and nuclear power by 26.13% and 37.80% respectively. In fact, electrical generation by coal declined by 3.94% compared to the same period in 2021 while nuclear dropped by 1.80%.
“Notwithstanding headwinds such as the COVID pandemic, grid access problems, and disruptions in global supply chains, solar and wind remain on a roll,” noted the SUN DAY Campaign’s executive director Ken Bossong. “Moreover, by surpassing nuclear power by ever greater margins, they illustrate the foolishness of trying to revive the soon-to-retire Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California and the just-retired Palisades reactor in Michigan rather than focusing on accelerating renewables’ growth.”