For The First Time Ever, Renewable Energy Outproduced Coal In The U.S.

Renewable energy sources produced more electricity than coal in April, a first for the American energy system.

Renewable energy sources produced more electricity than coal in April, a first for the American energy system.

Solar, wind and hydropower out-did coal in April, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The landmark month is a major boon for clean energy proponents, who have been pushing the low cost and efficiency of renewable electricity for decades.


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"Five years ago this never would have been close to happening," Dennis Wamstead, research analyst at IEEFA, told CNN. "The transition that's going on in the electric sector in the United States has been phenomenal."

Hydropower, specifically, has been one of the major driving forces of the tipping point. As snow from the winter melts across the United States, hydropower is peaking. It's expected coal will get the upper hand once again later in the year, but for now, it's an encouraging sign for environmentalists that the United States is moving towards cleaner, more efficient energy.

According to Popular Mechanics, renewables have been getting cheaper and more powerful over the last few years as innovation has driven the prices of solar and wind down while the efficiency has gone up.

"Renewables are just a better bet at the moment," Wamstead said to CNN.

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