According to government reports, the United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable energy than from the former king of U.S. power production: coal.
This development comes despite the Trump Administration’s years-long focus on reviving the dying coal industry through higher public subsidies, weaker pollution controls, and new federal rules requiring utilities (and the electricity-buying public) to pay for more coal-produced power.
These efforts were overmatched by economic forces elevating renewables over dirty coal. Those include rising costs of building and operating coal plants alongside steep declines in the cost of new wind and solar electricity generating facilities. Total American coal consumption is expected to fall by nearly one-quarter this year, leaving coal power trailing renewable sources like solar and wind.