For the first time, the United States produced more energy from renewable sources than from coal, according to new figures from the US Energy Information Administration. Hydroelectric dams, solar panels and wind turbines produced 68.5 million megawatt hours of energy during April 2019, compared to 60 million for coal.
A few different trends came together to make this milestone possible, some in the long run and in the short run. In the long run, if Bloomberg notes, the country is shifting to natural gas, which is not only cheaper than coal, but it also emits less carbon dioxide (although it is still a fossil fuel). Wind and solar parks are also growing nationwide because they have become so cheap to build.
However, in April there were also some short-term trends that made it possible for renewable energy to catch up on coal, meaning that it is not a permanent change. A number of coal-fired power stations were not available for routine maintenance in April The Guardian reports that the month also saw a combined increase in wind generation and a fall in energy demand. Coal can take the upper hand when coal-fired power stations resume normal operation.
Nevertheless, the general trend suggests that, despite the Trump government's attempt to "end the war on coal," the fuel is slowly disappear into oblivion continues in the US. Fifty coal plants have been shut down during Trump's presidency so far, and more are likely to follow as states increasingly promise phasing out fossil fuels or shift to gas.