This March, U.S. monthly electricity generation from utility-scale renewable sources surpassed nuclear generation for the first time since July 1984, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Renewable generation also exceeded nuclear this April.
Wind and solar experienced record generation this spring. Between March 2016 and March 2017, wind generation grew by 16 percent while solar generation increased by 65 percent. Solar generation continued to increase in April, while wind generation decreased slightly.
Hydroelectric power has also recently seen increases in generation due to high precipitation this past winter and reached a new nearly six-year high of 30 billion kilowatt-hours in March.
Net generation from nuclear power has remained relatively flat since the 1990s. The fact that nuclear plants tend to undergo maintenance during spring and fall months also contributed to renewables surpassing nuclear energy. In March, approximately 14 percent of total U.S. nuclear capacity was offline. In April, that number was 21 percent.
The latest EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) predicts that monthly nuclear electricity generation will surpass renewables again this summer and that nuclear will generate more electricity than renewables over the whole of 2017.
Source: Daily Energy Insider