US Renewable Power Generation Surpassed Nuclear in 2021 | Rigzone


Electric power sector production from renewable sources totaled 795 million megawatt hours (MWh) in the United States in 2021, surpassing nuclear production, which totaled 778 million MWh.

The data was provided by the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), which added that the electric power sector in the United States does not include electricity generators in the industrial, commercial or residential sectors. , such as small-scale solar or wind power or some combination heat generators. and-power systems.

According to the EIA, renewable energy generation includes electricity produced from wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass and geothermal sources.

Natural gas remained the most widely used energy source for electricity generation in the United States, accounting for 1,474 million MWh in 2021.

Although several coal-fired power plants in the United States retired in 2021, coal-fired power generation increased for the first time since 2014 and was the source of more electricity in the United States than renewable energies. renewable or nuclear energy. Total production in the electric power sector increased slightly in 2021, but remained below its peak year of 2018.

The increase in renewable energy generation in the U.S. electric power sector in 2021 is primarily driven by increased wind and solar generation due to the commissioning of more wind turbines and large-scale solar power plants.

Wind generation increased by 12% in 2021, while utility-scale solar generation increased by 28%. Hydroelectric production fell to its lowest level since 2015, mainly due to dry conditions in the western United States. Electricity production from biomass and geothermal energy remained relatively unchanged in 2021.

Nuclear power generation has remained relatively stable in the United States over the past decade as power increases at existing facilities offset the retirement of several reactors.

Only one reactor was taken out of service in 2021, Unit 3 at Indian Point in New York. Despite a slight increase in the capacity factor of the US nuclear fleet in 2021, US nuclear power generation has fallen to its lowest level since 2012.

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