Solar and wind produce more electricity than nuclear for first time in US

A 200MW solar project in Texas. Image: Duke Energy.

Solar and wind installations in the US generated more electricity than the country’s nuclear power plants for the first time in April.

That is according to analysis of US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data carried out by research organisation SUN DAY Campaign, revealing that solar and wind produced 18% more electricity than nuclear in April.

During the month, renewables accounted for 29.3% of all US electrical generation – an all-time high.

“Notwithstanding headwinds such as the COVID pandemic, grid access problems and disruptions in global supply chains, solar and wind remain on a roll,” said SUN DAY Campaign’s executive director, Ken Bossong.

Solar generation in the US between January and April 2022 was up 28.9% year-on-year, the analysis revealed, while coal-fired production was down 3.9% and nuclear dropped 1.8%.

The news follows research published last week by energy major bp that showed solar and wind provided more than 10% of global power for the first time last year.

Despite progress by renewables, however, bp said coal remained the dominant fuel for power generation globally in 2021, with its share increasing to 36%, up from 35.1% the year before.

In the US, solar deployment stalled during Q1 2022 amid concerns over retroactive tariffs stemming from the US Department of Commerce’s inquiry into alleged circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duties.

Just 3.9GWdc was deployed during the quarter, a 24% fall year-on-year, according to research from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie.

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