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40% Emission Free, Here We Come

Wind. Solar. Nuclear. Hydro. Geothermal. The grid's five ways to generate electricity emission-free. This year, year-to-date, the emission-free five made 38.3 percent of the grid's electricity.

We're rising rapidly to 40 percent emission-free.

Coal is now down to 27.3 percent. It's never been this far down during the first four months of any year.

We're falling fast to 25 percent coal.

Latest Energy Department data is through April, the fourth month.

Almost all the rest of the grid's electricity is from low-emission natural gas. In the first four months, gas is 31.5 percent.

Of the emission-free five, wind is all by itself 8.1 percent of the grid's electricity. For the first time, wind snuck past hydro. Wind is now the second greatest emission-free source. Behind the leader of the pack, nuclear.

The grid supplied 152 times as much electricity as did residential, commercial and industrial customer solar. Residential solar put out 4,959,000 megawatt-hours. But this was eclipsed by the grid's geothermal, the smallest of the emission-free five, which put out 5,272,000.


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Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly, and President, Lines Up, Inc.

E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com