By: James Osborne |
Solar farms, wind turbines and hydroelectric dams are getting close to surpassing nuclear power plants contribution to the U.S. electrical grid, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Last year 18 percent of electrical generation came from renewable energy sources – more than double what they did a decade ago – the report said. Nuclear power plants represent 19.7 percent of the generation on the grid, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, surpassed only by coal and natural gas plants.
“The massive and historic transformation of the U.S. energy sector clicked into a higher gear in 2017, despite some new headwinds including policy uncertainties,” the report entitled “Sustainable Energy in America: 2018 Factbook” read. “Renewable deployment grew at a near- record pace.”
The growth comes even as the Trump administration has curtailed or eliminated restrictions on greenhouse gas restrictions while also trying to expand fossil-fuel production in the United States.
But so far it has done little to turn investors away from renewable energy, which is widely seen as an area of growth in the decades to come as countries try to limit the damage of climate change.
Investment in wind, solar and other renewable technologies totaled $333 billion in 2017, the second highest level on record, according to the Bloomberg report.
The impact on the atmosphere can already be seen. The expansion of renewables, as well as the shift away from coal to natural gas, has sent the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions to their lowest level since 1991, according to Bloomberg.