In March and April, the United States produced more of its energy from renewable sources than nuclear, the Energy and Information Administration (EIA) confirmed Thursday.
To put this in perspective, other key events in 1984 included the unveiling of the first Apple Computer, the Macintosh; the identification of the AIDS virus and the Supreme Court's ruling that the Jaycees may be forced to admit women members. However, EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) projects that monthly nuclear electricity generation will surpass renewables again during the summer months of 2017 and that nuclear will generate more electricity than renewables for all of 2017.
The heavy winter snows across the West this winter were also a factor, with the big melt helping push conventional hydroelectric power levels up.
Conventional hydroelectric generation, which remains the largest source of renewable electricity in most months, totaled 30 billion kilowatthours in March, the highest level in almost six years.
Renewable energy surpasses nuclear power
India Ratings said in a falling electricity deficit scenario and excess energy tie-ups by distribution utilities, even amid high demand growth, projected generation capacity is well placed to meet the demand.
Wind, solar and hydroelectric power all saw increased generation. EIA's STEO projects an increase of 8% and 40% in wind and solar utility-scale generation, respectively, in 2017.
In contrast to the recent rise in renewables deployment, net generation from nuclear power has remained fairly unchanged since the late 1990s. At the same time, nuclear plants typically undergo refueling and maintenance, resulting in lower output.
For a complete list of nuclear plant additions, restarts, and retirements over the past 10 years, see EIA's Monthly Energy Review.
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