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Last year, U.S. electricity produced from renewable energy sources surpassed electricity generated by coal for the first time, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In 2022, the U.S. electric power sector produced 4,090million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electric power. Generation from wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal surpassed coal-fired generation in the electric power sector for the first time last year, EIA officials announced March 27.
Renewable generation surpassed nuclear generation for the first time in 2021 and continued to provide more electricity than nuclear generation in 2022, they said.
The share of coal-fired generation decreased from 23% in 2021 to 20% in 2022 as a number of coal-fired power plants retired and the remaining plants were used less.
Natural gas remained the largest source of U.S. electricity generation last year, increasing to a 39% share of U.S. generation in 2022 from a 37% share in 2021.
The combined wind and solar share of total generation increased to 14% in 2022 from 12% in 2021. Hydropower generation remained unchanged, at 6%, in 2022. The shares for biomass and geothermal sources remained unchanged, at less than 1%.
Trains transport nearly 70% of coal delivered in the United States for at least part of the way from mines to consumers, according to the EIA.