In 2019, U.S. annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded coal consumption for the first time since before 1885, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA). With the coronavirus pandemic accelerating a decline in coal that has profound implications for the climate crisis, Coal consumption fell by 15%, down for the sixth year in a row, while renewables edged up by 1%..Yet, renewable investments remain below their limitless potential. Scaled up renewable energy investment, on the foundation of sound enabling policy frameworks, is critical to accelerate the global energy transformation and reap its many benefits while achieving favorable climate and development targets. We disentangle the leading role of risk-return perceptions, portfolio effects, and path dependence in explaining energy investment decisions.
Trends in Electricity Generation 1985-2019 As of June 25, 2020
NOTES: “RE” (renewable energy) includes hydro, wind, bioenergy and geothermal. “Other” includes pumped hydro, other fossil generation, and statistical differences. Based on “gross” generation.