Americans could use renewable energy produced by solar, wind and hydroelectric power more than coal by 2021, according to a new report.
CNN reports that solar and wind power are growing in use so quickly that for the first time ever the country is likely to get more power from renewable energy than from coal by 2021, according to projections from the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
The change in American power supply comes as energy produced from coal power plants is in sharp decline while renewables are surging.
CNN notes the shift away from coal is due largely to environmental concerns, aging plants and competition from other energy sources.
Between 2000 and 2010, coal provided about half of America’s power generation, but coal consumption has since fallen dramatically.
Natural gas took over coal as the top source of America’s power generation in 2016, CNN notes.
Dennis Wamsted, editor and analyst at IEEFA, predicted that 2021 will be the “crossover year” in the United States when coal is surpassed by renewables.
“Coal and renewables are rapidly heading in opposite directions,” Wamsted said in the report, according to CNN. ”If the crossover doesn’t occur in 2021, it will without a doubt do so by 2022.”