Wind and solar power generated more than 10 percent of U.S. electricity for the first time in March, according to Energy Information Administration data. That share is forecast to grow steadily over the next 20 years.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance published data that show the two energy sources will make up 34 percent of global electricity generation worldwide by 2040.
“The renewable sources are now cheaper than coal-fired power plants in many places in the U.S., and competitive with natural gas,” Fortune magazine reported. “A growing investment in batteries, which help store wind and solar energy for use at times when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining, also contributes to the projected transition.”
Electricity production from burning natural gas, which is cheaper and cleaner than coal, will also grow as utilities use the energy source to meet demand at peak times, according to BNEF.
Meanwhile, solar panel manufacturers in the U.S. are pushing to impose trade penalties on imports from regions like China, potentially creating a new trade case for President Donald Trump. Suniva Inc. and SolarWorld USA said cheap imports are destroying domestic manufacturing of the panels.
“Suniva filed a petition with the International Trade Commission for the trade remedies in May, shortly after filing for bankruptcy,” The Hill reported. “SolarWorld, a unit of a German company, joined the case later that month after making big job cuts.”
The controversy focuses on photovoltaic cells and modules, the parts of solar panels that turn the sun’s radiation into electricity. Only about 13 percent of the solar panels installed last year in the United States were made here.
The ITC is due to make a recommendation to Trump after its investigation ends this year, The Hill reported.
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