Renewable generation exceeded nuclear in the U.S. electric power sector in 2021

Renewable energy USA

Renewable generation exceeded nuclear in the U.S. electric power sector in 2021 U.S.

Power generation

Firstly, the electric power sector generation from renewable sources totaled 795 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in the United States in 2021.

As a result, the nuclear generation, totaled 778 million MWh; announced the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

The country’s electric power sector does not include electricity generators in the industrial, commercial, or residential sectors.

Renewable sources

Renewable generation includes wind, hydropower, solar, biomass, and geothermal sources.

Along 2021, natural gas was the most prevalent energy source used in electricity generation, accounting for 1,474 million MWh..

Also several coal-fired power plants retired in 2021; on the other side, coal-fired electricity generation increased for the first time since 2014.

Additionally, total generation in the electric power sector increased slightly, was less than its record-high year of 2018.

The increase in U.S. electric power sector renewable generation became from more wind and solar generation due to more wind turbines and utility-scale solar power plants coming online.

We recommend: Wood Mackenzie scales renewable markets data reach as Canadian Solar joins Lens Power Development Partner Program. Read more.

Moreover, wind generation increased by 12% in 2021, and utility-scale solar generation increased by 28%.

Hydroelectric generation decreased to its lowest level since 2015, because of dry conditions in the western United States.

Biomass and geothermal electricity generation remained relatively unchanged in 2021.

A nuclear-powered generation remained relatively steady during the past decade because uprates at existing facilities have offset the retirement of several reactors.

Finally, only one reactor was retired in 2021: New York’s Indian Point Unit 3. Even with a slight increase in the capacity factor of the U.S. nuclear fleet in 2021, U.S. nuclear electricity generation fell to its lowest level since 2012.

Access EIA information here.

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