America’s power industry – 2021 first-half update
- Sep 6, 2021 8:57 pm GMT
Electricity production from wind and solar rose 13.7% (30.1 million MWh) through the first half of 2021 (H1) compared with the same six-month period in 2020. The modest gains in wind and solar were offset by declines in hydro (down 12.6%) and nuclear (down 2.8%) – resulting in a decline from the two resources of 30.9 million MWh.
By far the largest gain in electricity production came from coal power plants across the U.S. – up an astounding 34.7% (112.5 million MWh) while natural gas declined by 5.1% (37.8 million MWh). During 2021/H1 coal and gas contributed 58.2% of all power production across the country – that is up slightly from 2020/H1 (56.5%), but down from 59.7% in 2019/H1. As recently as 2008/H1, coal and gas provided nearly 70% of U.S. electricity production.
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