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Wind Power Passes Coal And Nuclear As Power Generation Source In US

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Wind Power Passes Coal And Nuclear As Power Generation Source In US

Wind power became the second-largest source of electricity in the US last month.

Electricity created by wind surpassed that generated by both coal and nuclear on 29 March, meaning energy created by wind power was second only to natural gas energy on that day.

It marks the first time in recorded history that energy generated by wind surpassed all other energy sources bar gas for an entire day. 

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In 2021, wind beat out coal and nuclear, but just for a single hour. 

Wind power became the second-largest source of electricity in the US last month. Credit: Alamy
Wind power became the second-largest source of electricity in the US last month. Credit: Alamy

29 March’s data was collected by the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Hourly Electric Grid Monitor.

The administration’s data showed that wind turbines in 48 states produced 2,017 gigawatt hours of electricity on 29 March, totalling 19% of energy generated. 

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This means wind power generated 2% more electricity than coal and a sliver more percentage-wise than nuclear. 

Natural gas generated 31% of electricity in the US on 29 March.

The EIA pins the new record on wind power growth across the United States, as per Vice.  According to the outlet, wind accounted for a whopping 42% of new energy in the US last year after the quantity of wind turbines across the country sky-rocketed. 

To put things into perspective, wind power generated approximately six billion kilowatt hours in 2000, but by 2021 that had jumped to 380 billion.

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In 2021, wind beat out coal and nuclear, but just for a single hour. Credit: Alamy
In 2021, wind beat out coal and nuclear, but just for a single hour. Credit: Alamy

Announcing the news in a press release, the EIA explained that wind speeds pick up during spring and warmer temperatures mean a drop in energy demands, which leads to a reduction in the production of coal-fired and nuclear generators.

The report read: “Daily wind-powered electricity had surpassed coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation separately on other days earlier this year but had not surpassed both sources on a single day.”

However, the EIA heeded: “We do not expect wind to surpass either coal-fired or nuclear generation for any month in 2022 or 2023, based on our most recent forecast.”

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Wind power statistics are flourishing across the pond, too. 

The Observer carried out a poll this month that revealed more than three-quarters of the public are in favour of windfarms being built across Britain.

What’s more, the paper’s research indicated that Tories are almost just as keen on the development of new windfarms as Labour and Lib Dem voters. 

79% of Tory voters said they were ‘strongly or somewhat in favour’ of windfarm installation compared to 83% of Labour voters and 88% of Lib Dems.

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If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Technology, Climate Change, Science

Aisha Nozari
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