Renewable Energy Slowly Replacing Coal in the United States

Devon Energy pic
Devon Energy
Image: devonenergy.com

An energy lawyer, Duke Ligon of Oklahoma City is the senior vice president of Devon Energy. Focused on renewable energy in the United States, Duke Ligon of Oklahoma City has been involved in domestic energy policy planning, responsible for the growth in renewable energy.

As renewable energy continues to gain market share in terms of total power generated in the United States, carbon-emitting coal’s contribution is fast depreciating.

Wind and solar accounted for over two-thirds of new electricity generation in the United States in 2015 The remainder was dominated by cheap natural gas made popular by hydraulic fracturing. This marked the second year in a row that US investment in renewable sources vastly outpaced investment in fossil fuels.

Cheap wind energy has contributed immensely to the rise of renewable energy. The cost of wind energy has reduced by two-thirds in six years, largely because of the falling cost of wind turbines, effectively making it the lowest-cost source of energy.

In the Great Plains and Sun Belt regions of the United States, private equity investment is constructing massive renewable energy projects alongside laying out hundreds of miles of transmission lines. With 48,800 wind turbines already in operation, powering an estimated 20 million homes, the United States is already a leader in wind energy globally. It is estimated that by 2030, wind energy will account for 20 percent of the country’s electricity.

All the while coal energy has dropped drastically from generating half of the energy in the United States to only a third. As more coal companies file for bankruptcy protection, coal mines now employ an estimated 56,700 Americans, a tenth of what they used to employ at their peak.

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