Jun 26, 2019 | Updated: 09:24 AM EDT

For the First Time in US History, Renewable Energy Outranks Coal

May 25, 2019 09:01 AM EDT

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(Photo : Hans Braxmeier)
Geothermal Energy

UNITED STATES -- It was in the 1880s when coal-fired power plants began their operations providing much-needed electricity to both private homes and commercial establishments. A century later, coal remains to be the cheapest and most bountiful source of America's growing need for electricity. Sadly, its reign is slowly coming to a close.

In April, for the first time in a long time, renewable energy resources have proven to be more bountiful in the production of electricity compared to the long-time source, coal. In the report released by the Energy Information Administration, they have provided an estimate of how the renewables were able to outperform the electricity produced by coal-fired power plants by more than 15% in April. They predict that it will generate more electricity by as much as 1.4% more in May.

The seasonal nature of these renewable resources may be the only hindrance for these alternative sources to become the more preferred option as an energy resource. There will come a time when the generation of electricity from burning coal will exceed that of biomass, hydro, solar and wind sources. However, the trend shows very clear signs that renewable energy sources will be on par with that of coal in the near future.

The Institute For Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a non-government organization concerned with the adverse effects of using coal in energy generation, writes "The coal industry may dismiss this rise and fall in generation share as something unimportant and insignificant, but we believe that it is indicative of a disruption that is worth noting." The organization later added, "Renewable energy sources are slowly catching up with coal. In fact, its growth is faster than what was predicted."

The use of renewable energy resources is a little bit more complex than the process associated with the use of coal, but the long term benefit outweighs the short term sacrifice. The use of renewable resources opens the minds of home and business owners to an eco-friendly alternative. When people choose to use renewable energy resources, they are saving themselves from the high cost of energy, while contributing to saving the environment.

If this trend continues, it won't be long before industries are able to use the amount of electricity they need without destroying the environment. When less carbon reaches the atmosphere, the temperature on Earth would be lower. This means that greenhouse gases are minimized and the water levels would stop rising.
The success in utilizing renewable resources in a highly industrialized country, such as the US, means that the said alternative method in obtaining energy could also be made viable for other countries across the globe. 

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