America is shifting to gas and renewables and away from coal for its electricity. The latest EIA data shows the shift continues. From July 2010 to July 2011, electricity from gas power plants increased 4.5%, non-hydro renewables jumped 5.8%, and hydro skyrocketed 30% as a result of massive precipitation especially in the Northwest. Large increases in wind power production are driving gains for the non-hydro renewables.
Electricity from coal declined 1.8% over the same period, even though total electric production rose 2.2%. So far this year coal has provided 43.3% of all electricity. Coal is losing market share to gas and renewables.
The combination of hydro and non-hydro renewables supplied about 14% of the nation's electricity in July 2011. Gas accounted for about 23%. Within the next 5 years gas and renewables will together generate more electricity than coal, a real milestone for America's electricity supply.