Hydropower plants, wind farms, and solar farms have reportedly set a record of generating more electricity than coal for a period of continuous 40 days in the United States.
The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) had previously forecasted that renewables, such as hydropower, would exceed the amount of electricity generated as compared to coal in 2021. However, the company is likely to meet the target in 2020 if the prevalence of these renewables continues. This can be attributed to the low gas prices, warm weather, and a substantial rise in renewable installations in 2019 end. However, there has been a drop in electricity demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In April, a group of organizations that focus on the expansion of renewables share in the U.S. energy mix had informed that the coronavirus pandemic led to the loss of jobs in the renewable energy sector, which could potentially reach half a million. B.W. Research Partnership, E4TheFuture, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), and the American Council on Renewable Energy have also analyzed the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs data and discovered that over half a million of renewable energy workers might be facing job loss in the next few months, in addition to the 106,000 workers that have already lost their jobs.
The renewables industry in the United States has had robust growth during the 1st quarter, despite the risks. The power generation capacity of hydropower, wind, and solar reportedly accounted for around 85.7% in the first two months of the year. Additionally, a decline in the fossil fuel-fired power generation capacity as well as the expansion of wind, solar, and hydropower in the next 3 years have been foreseen. The United States reflects a larger global trend of these renewable capacity additions that overtakes fossil fuels. This trend is expected to slow down as the world suffers an economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, this is expected to be a temporary setback.