Coal plants produced 19.98 percent of the grid’s generation in 2020, for the entire continental U.S. So coal generation came in under one-fifth for the first time. Though ever so slightly (by two-hundredths of a percent).
While zero-emission nuclear, hydro, wind and solar produced 38.53 percent. That’s nearly two-fifths. And nearly twice coal’s percentage.
All this happened because coal generation dropped almost nineteen percent from 2019 to 2020. As a result, carbon dioxide emissions dropped by around ten percent.
And so, the grid’s carbon intensity dropped too. It decreased from 0.87 pounds of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour in 2019 to 0.81 pounds in 2020.