Renewables, including hydroelectricity, are producing more power than ever, surpassing levels of previous years in every month of 2016, the Energy Department said Thursday.
The increase is party due to the easing of a West Coast drought, which lowered hydroelectricity production in recent years. But even with the pickup in hydro, solar, wind, and other renewables are grabbing a bigger share of power generation. In March, renewables, excluding hydro, accounted for more than 10 percent of U.S. electricity generation for the first time, the Energy Department said. They repeated that milestone in April.
The expansion of non-hydro renewables, particularly wind and solar, has accounted for most to the new generating capacity added to the U.S. power grid, as costs have declined, according to the Energy Department. Government incentives and mandates to increase non-polluting power sources have also contributed to the growth of renewable energy.
Texas leads the nation in wind power, and is increasing its solar capacity.