One-third of the electricity produced in America last year came from burning coal (including from three plants in New Hampshire). That’s a lot, and it should be reduced – but on the glass-half-full side of things, it’s the lowest percentage since records were first kept in 1949, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector – the largest single source of climate pollution and the target of Barack Obama’s clean power plan – fell 18% below 2005 levels last year, the report found. That was halfway to Obama’s goal of a 32% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 2030, and on a relatively short time frame.
This is the surprising thing, to me:
But the report found the biggest threat to coal last year remained cheap natural gas. There was also a spike in new wind and solar power. By the end of last year, wind and solar accounted for 5.4% of the energy mix, up slightly on 2014, the report found.
Five percent! That’s non-trivial.