The US' green energy production numbers have finally outpaced coal

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Regardless of how you feel about the climate change debate, it's no secret that the use of renewable energy is on the rise throughout the world. California, in particular, managed to reach its greenhouse gas emissions goals years ahead of schedule back in mid-2018.

But what about the United States as a whole? According to a new report provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), during the month of April 2019, the country managed to produce a whopping 68.5 million MWh of clean power. In this case, clean power refers to energy generated by solar panel grids, hydroelectricity sources, and wind turbines.

As noted by The Verge, this is the first time in US history that the country's renewable energy production numbers have outpaced coal-based alternatives -- as the EIA's report states, coal energy production sat at around 60.1 MWh in April.

As impressive as these milestones are for renewable energy proponents, it's going to be a while before the likes of solar and wind power can fully eclipse their fossil fuel counterparts. Coal is only one piece of a much larger puzzle, after all.

When combined with the output of nuclear, natural gas, and petroleum power facilities, the total energy production numbers for non-renewable power sources sat at around 225,785 MWh during April. Time will tell whether or not that number will change to any meaningful degree over the next few years.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
The sad fact is there is no such thing as "clean coal". It was great in it's day but now it simply has too many down sides. Air pollution, coal ash pits loaded with heavy metals, and an abundance of health problems for those that work throughout the industry. We may never see the worst case senerio but our kids and grand kids certainly are and will. If it weren't true and serious the Dept of the Navy wouldn't be investing so much money in trying to determine how they will react to all their ports suffering from rising tides.
You certainly don't need to be an environmentalist to understand the facts; it just takes some basic common sense and a willingness to look at it with an open mind.
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
#1 There's no such thing as clean coal.

#2 Green technology requires more energy to produce than fossil fuels do, but the air will be cleaner for your efforts. I would rather our energy be a combination of green(er) energy and battery element mining than coal and gaasoline. It's coming one way or another whether you're ready for it or not.

#3 Energy is coming from the sun whether you make use of it or not. Better to make use of it.
 
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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
Personally, I would love to see advancements done with nuclear. There was one group, http://www.transatomicpower.com/, that made an attempt to redesign a molten salt reactor to use the current stock pile of nuclear waste without enriching. Sadly, they were not successful in that effort and the group has come to an end.

However, they did make great headway in their research, "...it produces less than half the waste of conventional nuclear reactors, has no risk of meltdown, and has the potential to make nuclear more economically viable than fossil fuels."

The other nice thing they did was open source their research.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
#1 There's no such thing as clean coal.

#2 Green technology requires more energy to produce than fossil fuels do, but the air will be cleaner for your efforts. I would rather our energy be a combination of green(er) energy and battery element mining than coal and gaasoline. It's coming one way or another whether you're ready for it or not.

#3 Energy is coming from the sun whether you make use of it or not. Better to make use of it.
1,000% ;) In agreement with you on this!

Personally, I would love to see advancements done with nuclear. There was one group, http://www.transatomicpower.com/, that made an attempt to redesign a molten salt reactor to use the current stock pile of nuclear waste without enriching. Sadly, they were not successful in that effort and the group has come to an end.

However, they did make great headway in their research, "...it produces less than half the waste of conventional nuclear reactors, has no risk of meltdown, and has the potential to make nuclear more economically viable than fossil fuels."

The other nice thing they did was open source their research.
I am not a nuclear fan, however, pebble bed reactors are supposed to be substantially better, too.

However, research on things like this (10x storage density for Li batteries) https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tiny-silicon-particles-power-lithium.html are an avenue that should be explored as aggressively possible, IMO.

Imagine what could be done with something like that, any and all range anxiety would be completely gone for EVs.
Do we know what the cost per BTU is? Is renewable becoming competitive?
IMO, we cannot keep thinking like this. How much does clean air cost to breathe? How much do medical conditions cost to treat that were caused by polluted air?
 
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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
However, research on things like this (10x storage density for Li batteries) https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tiny-silicon-particles-power-lithium.html are an avenue that should be explored as aggressively possible, IMO.
Thanks for the article.
I wonder whatever happened to all the graphene battery hype?

Although you are not a fan of nukes, which I can understand, there are researchers making diamond batteries out of some of the nuclear waste.
Thanks for the links. It's a pretty cool process. I wonder how much of the waste problem using this process solves as it seems the carbon would be only a part of the overall waste.

Graphene has not disappeared. There are a large number of uses for it as indicated by this search - https://phys.org/search/?search=graphene

Personally, I think that supercapacitors offer the cleanest possible electrical storage means, and any significant advance there could also be an energy market disruptor.

Research takes time - much of the newsworthy research never makes it to market. I think it would be interesting to understand exactly why so much of it never makes it to market.
 
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