While renewable energy has been dominating new power capacity in the United States (see: 77–80% Of New US Power Capacity Came From Solar & Wind In 2020), it takes a long time to shift the giant electricity grid, which some have called the biggest machine in the country. Even so, month after month, renewable energy’s share of US electricity production has been increasing.
Looking at the month of November, renewables rose from 17.2% of US electricity in 2018 to 23.2% in 2020, an increase of 5 percentage points!
Looking at wind and solar power separately, wind grew from 6.8% to 11.1% in those two years, while solar grew from 1.7% to 2.8%.
The biggest loser over this time period was coal, going from 28.6% in November 2018 to 20.1% in 2020.
Looking at the first 11 months of 2020 versus the first 11 months of 2018 and first 11 months of 2019, renewables rose from 17.5% to 18.4% to 20.6%.
Solar power rose from 2.3% to 2.6% to 3.4%, and wind rose from 6.4% to 7.0% to 8.2%.
Coal dropped from 27.1% to 23.3% to 18.7%.
These are quite significant changes over the course of just three years.
Here’s an interactive version of January–November electricity production by source for 2018 versus 2019 versus 2020 (just note that it is best viewed and used on a laptop/desktop computer, rather than a phone):
See more US electricity generation reports for deeper history and more data on these topics.
Also see our US power capacity reports.