Across the United States, workers are covering fields with solar panels, and big rigs are hauling massive turbine blades to wind-scoured ridgelines. This is what it looks like when renewable energy expands exponentially. The amount of renewable electricity generated in the United States has doubled in the last 10 years, according to number-crunching out Tuesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration . And as impressive as doubling in a decade is, it understates the case. That’s because about 90 percent of that growth came from wind and solar: 57 million megawatt hours in 2008, and 301 million megawatt hours in 2018 — increasing more than fivefold in a decade. So where do we stand after accounting for all that growth? Well, some 17.6 percent of the country’s power now comes from renewables. It’s mainly electricity generated by hydroelectric dams (6.9 percent). Even after all that massive growth, wind only provides 6.5 percent and solar 2.3 percent of our electricity. Renewables like biomass and geothermal generate the last 1.9 percent. Nuclear plants (not considered renewable but, hey, no greenhouse gases!) provided 19 percent of U.S. electricity in 2018. The remaining 63.4 percent came from fossil fuels. That’s just […]

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