Wind Passed Coal, Nuclear Power in U.S. for First Time on Record

Source: By Josh Saul, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2022

Natural gas still reigns supreme as the top power source Wind farms are seen as important tool in decarbonization push

A wind farm in Whitewater, California.

A wind farm in Whitewater, California. Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg

Wind turbines in the U.S. produced more electricity than coal or nuclear plants on March 29 for the first time on record, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Thursday. That made wind the second-biggest source of electricity that day, behind only natural gas and narrowly ahead of nuclear.

Wind farm capacity has increased rapidly in the U.S. over the past 15 years and is widely seen as an important weapon in the push to decarbonize the power grid and the fight against climate change. However, due to the natural variation in wind speeds leading to different amounts of power generation, the EIA doesn’t expect wind to surpass coal or nuclear for an entire month in 2022 or 2023.

The EIA data go back to 2018 and don’t include Alaska or Hawaii.