Renewable power is the No. 2 source of electricity in the U.S. — and climbing

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Biden entered the White House putting climate change and job creation from the expansion of a clean energy economy at the top of his agenda — an about-face from energy policy during the Trump administration. At the time, renewable energy sources were already on the rise and the industry was optimistic about its future, especially buoyed by promises from the new president to invest trillions of dollars into clean energy development and research, and the global trend toward cleaner forms of power.

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Article Contents

The move

Across the Biden administration, agencies and officials have made the transition to green energy a central tenet, reinvigorating programs left dormant under Trump and accelerating approval of renewable energy projects, like offshore wind. And Democratic lawmakers passed landmark legislation — the Inflation Reduction Act — to reduce greenhouse gases that are driving climate change and provide support for green power sources. That legislation included billions for new programs and lucrative tax incentives to boost technologies, like solar and wind, as well as next-generation sources like green hydrogen.

The impact

Renewable energy growth has ramped up across the United States. Electricity generation from renewable energy sources — including wind, solar and hydropower — surpassed coal-fired generation in the electric power sector for the first time in 2022, making it the second-biggest source behind natural gas generation. Renewables also passed nuclear power generation for the first time in 2021 and widened that gap the next year. The IRA also spurring a wave of private sector investment in U.S. clean energy manufacturing facilities for solar, wind and electric vehicle parts, the majority of which will be located in Republican congressional districts represented by lawmakers who voted against the bill.

The upshot

The Biden administration is continuing to roll out policies and programs focused on the energy transition, including detailing provisions under the Inflation Reduction Act that will help clarify the law so that new investments in the U.S. can move forward.



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