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Environment, Energy and Transportation

For the first time, wind power eclipsed both coal and nuclear in the U.S.

For one day in March, wind generated electricity surpassed coal and nuclear, and became second only to natural gas.
Wayne Parry
/
AP
For one day in March, wind generated electricity surpassed coal and nuclear, and became second only to natural gas.

For a single day at the end of March, wind was the second-largest source of electricity generation, the Energy Information Administration says. Natural gas is still the nation's largest power source.

Wind power in the United States reached a new milestone last month.

On March 29, wind turbines produced more electricity than coal and nuclear, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an agency that collects energy statistics for the government, says.

In the past, wind-powered electricity has gone beyond coal and nuclear on separate days, but this was the first time wind surpassed both on the same day. Natural gas is still the largest source of electricity generation in the country.

The EIA notes that in the spring and fall months, nuclear and coal generators reduce their output because demand tends to be lower, which could contribute to why wind turbines produced more electricity that day.

But wind taking the No. 2 spot may be short-lived.

The agency says electricity generation from wind on a monthly basis has been lower than natural gas, coal and nuclear generation. According to EIA projections, wind is not expected to surpass any other method in any month of 2022 or 2023.

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