Monthly electricity generation from renewable sources exceeded coal-fired generation in the U.S. for the first time in April 2019, according to the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.
Renewable sources provided 23% of total electricity generation in the U.S. during the month of April last year while coal provided 20%.
'This outcome reflects both seasonal factors as well as long-term increases in renewable generation and decreases in coal generation,' the EIA said in a statement.
Electricity consumption is usually lowest in the spring and fall seasons because temperatures are more moderate, thus electricity demand for heating and air conditioning is relatively low compared to other months.
Due to this, electricity generation from coal is usually at its lowest point during the spring and fall seasons, according to the EIA.
Wind generation reached a record monthly high of 30.2 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in April 2019, while solar generation also reached a record monthly high of 7.8 million MWh in June 2018.
Hydroelectric generation, which is the largest source of renewable electricity, also supported the overall increase in renewable generation.
Electricity generation from hydro totaled 25 million MWh in April, the EIA said, adding 'hydroelectric generation tends to peak in the spring as melting snowpack results in increased water supply at downstream generators.'
- Coal continues decline
Electricity generation from coal in the U.S. has continued its decline last year.
While approximately 47 gigawatts (GW) of U.S. coal-fired capacity retired since the beginning of 2015, the EIA said it expects the retirement another 4.1 GW for the remainder of 2019.
The EIA, however, noted it anticipates for 2020 that coal will provide more electricity generation in the U.S. than renewables.
By Ovunc Kutlu