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Renewable Energy Made Up Half Of New U.S. Energy In 2017

Renewable Energy.hpgruesen/Wikimedia

2017 saw one of the fastest adoption rates for renewable energy yet, with about half the added power coming from green sources. This is the fourth time that renewables outpaced natural gas as new additions to the power grid in the U.S., which is made up of a combination of wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro.

The new data came from a report by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which indicated that a total of 12,270 megawatts of new energy came from renewable sources. Most of that energy apparently came from solar and wind. The other half of the equation came via natural gas, while coal hardly made a blip on the radar despite the Trump administration’s gung-ho attitude towards the pollutant.

This development is just another sign that renewables are on the rise while fossil fuel is on the decline. This is despite the best efforts by the current U.S. Federal Government to keep propping up the failing industry. Speaking to Clean Technica, SUN DAY Campaign Executive Director, Ken Bossong notes that this is just the way things are now.

“Notwithstanding a year-long effort by the Trump Administration and its congressional allies to prop up coal, nuclear, and natural gas at the expense of renewable energy sources, clean energy technologies have proven themselves to be amazingly resilient,” Bossong said. “The unmistakable lesson to be drawn from the past five or more years of FERC data is that solar, wind, and the other renewable energy sources are carving out a large and rapidly-expanding share of the nation’s electrical generation.”

Unfortunately, this only paints a small portion of the bigger picture. The U.S. is still predominantly powered by coal plants and with the support of the current administration behind fossil fuel, it will make the death of an industry that should already be rotting now much slower than it should. By all accounts, coal and natural gas ought to be heading the way of the steam engine.

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