Hydroelectric dams, solar panels, and wind turbines generated 68. 5 million megawatt-hours of energy during the month of April 2019, compared to 60 million for coal.
A number of coal plants were down for routine maintenance in April, and The Guardian reports that the month also saw a combined increase in wind generation and a drop in energy demand.
Fifty coal power plants have shut down during Trump’s presidency so far, and more are likely to follow as states increasingly pledge to phase out fossil fuels or shift toward gas.
However, there were also a couple of short-term trends in April that allowed renewables to overtake coal, meaning it’s not a permanent shift.
Over the long term, as Bloomberg notes, the country has been shifting toward natural gas, which is not only cheaper than coal, but it also emits less carbon dioxide (although it’s still a fossil fuel).
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.