The United States in the midst of a clean energy revolution that cannot be stopped, the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a report Monday. “The United States is changing fundamentally across the energy sector, accelerating away from fossil fuels into a clean energy future. The trend, obvious for more than a decade, is a combined product of state and federal policy harmonized with potent economic forces,” the report says.
Increases in energy efficiency, renewables, and lower-carbon natural gas have shrunk coal’s share of the nation’s energy mix, the report says. “The share of electricity generated from coal fell from 52 percent in 2000 to 33 percent in 2015, driven by market shifts to natural gas and non-hydro renewable energy, as well as by strengthened air pollution standards,” the report says.
The report suggests that these trends are solid enough to sustain. “These strong trends indicate that a transition to a clean energy economy is irrevocably underway, and independent of any changes in federal administrations or congressional leadership,” it says.