Renewable, clean energy is critical to staving off disaster in the impending climate crisis. As scientists agree that the Earth is hurtling towards a point of no return, dramatic changes in daily life and government policy around the globe is required. Because of the seriousness of the climate crisis, it is important to recognize small milestones to encourage further action. On March 29, 2022, the United States achieved a new and promising landmark—a day where wind power surpassed the energy generated by both coal and nuclear sources.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration collects information on energy usage and production for the government. In the past, wind-powered electricity has surpassed coal and nuclear output on certain days respectively. However, on March 29, wind rose to the number two spot for the day. More energy derived from wind was produced than coal and nuclear power plants. This totaled a whopping 2,017 gigawatt hours of wind energy. Natural gas remained the top producer on that day.
This is a first for energy statistics. It is representative of a massive increase in wind-based power over recent decades. In 2000, American wind power generated approximately 6 billion kilowatt hours, but by 2021 the sector produced 380 billion. Last year, 42% of new energy was wind power as windmills proliferate across the country. However, wind is still not expected to surpass coal, natural gas, or nuclear power in the next few years on a monthly basis. Though the addition of windmills is moving in the right direction, more efforts must be made and accelerated to continue to make a lasting change. The growth of clean energy industries such as wind and solar is one way to encourage a shift to clean sustainability.