Wind power is slowly but surely cementing its importance to the energy grid. Last month marked a particular milestone for wind power generation, with turbines generating 2,017 gigawatts in the lower 48 on March 29—the first day in recorded history that wind surpassed both coal and nuclear, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Wind power accounted for 19% of power generation on that day, while nuclear was just a fraction under. Coal power generation stood at 17%. March 29 certainly offered the right conditions for wind power to flex its might: According to the EIA, wind power generation generally hits its high point in the spring.
Nuclear and coal power facilities also tend to undergo maintenance during the season due to lower overall power demand. The EIA noted another moment in which, for an hour during last month, wind accounted for the most substantial power source in the lower 48. The agency does not believe wind will give coal and nuclear power a run for its money just yet. According to the EIA, it is improbable that wind will surpass both in a given month in 2022 or 2023. Still, developments in wind power have certainly been encouraging.
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