Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
Originally published on May 28, but a clear highlight of the year.
In 2019, U.S. annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded coal consumption for the first time since before 1885, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review. This outcome mainly reflects the continued decline in the amount of coal used for electricity generation over the past decade as well as growth in renewable energy, mostly from wind and solar. Compared with 2018, coal consumption in the United States decreased nearly 15%, and total renewable energy consumption grew by 1%.
Historically, wood was the main source of U.S. energy until the mid-1800s and was the only commercial-scale renewable source of energy in the United States until the first hydropower plants began producing electricity in the 1880s. Coal was used in the early 1800s as fuel for steam-powered boats and trains and making steel, and it was later used to generate electricity in the 1880s. EIA’s earliest energy estimates began in 1635.
EIA converts sources of energy to common units of heat, called British thermal units (Btu), to compare different types of energy that are reported in different physical units (barrels, cubic feet, tons, kilowatthours, etc.). EIA uses a fossil fuel equivalence to calculate electricity consumption of noncombustible renewables such as wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal.
Rooftop solar installations skyrocketed in Vietnam last year prior to a hard installation deadline for feed-in tariffs, with more than 9GWp of rooftop solar installed in the country.
Throughout 2020 rooftop solar installations in Vietnam grew by a major 2,435%, rising from a 2019 base of 378MWp to 9.583GWp, spread across almost 102,000 systems.
The growth figures are confirmed by state-owned Vietnam Electricity (EVN), though the numbers have been further revised upward in the past day.
Vietnam rooftop solar installations grew steadily in H1 2020 despite the pandemic and a nationwide lockdown period imposed in the country. Rooftop solar growth continued to accelerate throughout Q3 2020, before skyrocketing in December 2020.
Vietnam’s tremendous rooftop solar market was driven by a second iteration, FIT2 (feed-in tariff) policy paying USD $0.0838 per kWh over a period of 20 years for systems with a Commercial Operation Date of 31 December 2020 at the latest.
The FIT2 was only finalised in early April 2020 after initial expectations were for an extension of the original USD $0.0935 per kWh rooftop solar FIT.