The coronavirus has pushed the coal industry to once-unthinkable lows, and the consequences for climate change are big. The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show, a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change. Powerful economic forces have led electric utilities to retire hundreds of aging coal plants since 2010 and run their remaining plants less frequently. In just the first four and a half months of this year, America’s fleet of wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric dams have produced more electricity than coal on 90 separate days — shattering last year’s record of 38 days for the entire year.
By Brad Plumer. New York Times. May 13, 2020.