Coal Industry Takes Backseat to Green Energy in April 2019

Blue solar panels. Photo from Carl Attard via Pexels.

This April, green energy sources took the lead in regard to nationwide energy production in the United States. Renewable energy has hit a sort of national speed bump, with renewed investments in the coal industry and declining federal investments in green energy, but despite this move away from renewable sources, green energy managed to produce more electricity than any other source in April.

This trend is expected to continue and pick up over the next several years, a sign that bodes poorly for the coal industry.

Texas Leads Production

This stunning market upset came from the efforts of an unlikely state: Texas, America’s oil production capital. Texas has seen a groundswell of support for forms of renewable energy like solar and wind, and it currently leads the nation in the production of green energy from solar and wind sources.

Texas has joined its neighbor, New Mexico, in a statewide call for “carbon-free” energy plans. These plans have been spurred on by the development of high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries. These batteries allow for far more solar energy to be stored, an advancement necessary to make solar energy viable for a large state like Texas. 

The CEO of one lithium-ion battery manufacturer has stated that this industry shift is similar to the transition from analog to digital. Decades ago, America switched its economy from an analog model, complete with mountains of paper waste and physical technology, to a model based on the digital infrastructure of computers.

The green energy trend represents a similar, large-scale economic shift. The coal industry may be inclined to dismiss these developments as regular fluctuations in energy production, but a growing body of evidence suggests that green energy will soon be the new norm. 

Spring: A Slow Time for Coal

Traditionally, spring is a slow period for coal, as more Americans are shutting off their heat, but don’t yet need to start blasting their air conditioners. Additionally, spring rains and thaws give a huge (and necessary) boost to hydroelectric power.

As we move into summer, solar energy typically sees a boost in production, due to the increasingly direct rays of the sun. Typically, coal resumes its dominance sometime in the summer, but experts wonder how long this will continue. 

Energy companies like Quake Energy have begun to take this trend into account within their own business plans. Local energy companies are starting to incorporate and make concessions to green energy production, lowering the demand for traditional coal and natural gas.

Some of these companies are starting to encourage solar panel installation efforts outright, and even offer incentives for surplus energy that’s put back into the local power grid

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