Renewable energy overtakes coal, still lags far behind oil and natural gas

FORBES | Last week the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported something extraordinary. For the first time in 135 years, last year U.S. consumption of renewables surpassed consumption of coal.

There are two interrelated reasons for this: The collapse of coal consumption over the past decade, which was fueled by the rise of cheaper alternatives.

I have covered the reasons for coal’s collapse previously. The short version is that legislation to curb carbon emissions was passed about the same time the shale boom and renewable power revolutions created cheaper, cleaner alternatives to coal.

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