U.S. Renewables To Outpace Coal and Nuclear in 2022

The production of renewable energy in the United States is on track to surpass other energy sources this year, but the nation must maintain record high production levels to meet its climate goals.

Read Time: 2 minutes

November 28, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Solar panels in a green field

Soonthorn Wongsaita / Solar farm

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind will likely generate more power than coal and nuclear plants in the United States this year, reports Benjamin Storrow in Scientific American. According to Storrow, “Wind and solar output are up 18 percent through Nov. 20 compared to the same time last year and have grown 58 percent compared to 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.”

But doubts remain whether the growth of renewables will meet the 40 percent emissions reduction goal by 2030 set by the Biden administration. As Storrow explains, “Supply chain constraints and trade disputes have slowed wind and solar installations, raising questions about the United States' ability to meet the emission reductions sought by the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Despite the hundreds of billions invested in clean energy by the Inflation Reduction Act, it will take time to implement the new law and get new funding out to projects. “Tax guidance needs to be finalized before developers begin plunking down money on new facilities, and companies now face headwinds in the form of higher interest rates and the looming threat of a recession.” Meanwhile, renewable energy production must maintain record growth. “Researchers at Princeton University estimate the country needs to install about 50 gigawatts of wind and solar annually between 2022 and 2024, or roughly double the 25 GW that the United States installed annually in 2020 and 2021.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 in Scientific American

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