The US achieved a new record in April 2022 – for the first time, the US generated 20% of its electricity from wind and solar power, according to new data released today from global energy think tank Ember.

US wind and solar growth

The record is being predominantly driven by a wind boom in the Great Plains and the Midwest, across states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.

As Electrek reported on April 28, in March, the US generated 18% of its electricity from wind and solar (59 TWh) for the first time. That beat the previous record set in March 2021 (53 TWh).

Graph: Ember

US wind and solar adoption is escalating. In 2015, the US generated 5.7% of its electricity from wind and solar (229.8 TWh). By 2021, it had more than doubled to reach 13% of its electricity from wind and solar (543.5 TWh). 

According to Deloitte US’s 2022 renewable energy industry outlook, “Wind and solar capacity additions of 13.8 GW in the first eight months of 2021 were up 28% over the same period in 2020.”

Global wind and solar growth

Wind and solar were the fastest-growing forms of electricity worldwide for the 17th year in a row in 2021.

Globally, wind and solar energy have doubled since 2015 to deliver a record 10% of global electricity in 2021, according to Ember’s Global Electricity Review

The International Energy Agency stated that in order to reach the Paris Agreement net-zero by the 2050 target, wind and solar need to reach 20% of global electricity by 2025 and 70% by 2050.

Many European countries have already produced more than 25% of their electricity from wind and solar in 2021, including Germany, Spain, and the UK. This is helping to rapidly reduce their reliance on imported fossil fuels from Russia.

Ember’s COO, Phil MacDonald, said: 

Wind and solar are breaking records around the world. The process that will reshape the existing energy system has begun. Wind and solar provide a solution to the “trilemma” of achieving a sustainable, affordable and secure energy supply. This decade they need to be deployed at lightning speed.


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About the Author

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.