A new report from NRDC and Ceres finds that gas and renewable generation boomed together, while electricity produced from coal fell significantly between 2000 to 2011--the Age of Shale Gas.
From 2000 to 2011 NRDC and Ceres calculate that natural gas generation rose 69% and renewable energy 44%. Unlike gas and renewables, coal saw a 12% decline in electricity produced during this period.
It will surprise nobody that the Age of Shale Gas led to substantially higher natural gas electricity fired generation. But it may still surprise many that renewable energy generation skyrocketed too.
Moreover, the rise from 2000 to 2011 in renewable energy would have been much greater, if the analysis had looked at just wind and solar. The booms in wind and solar were extraordinary during this period, and the 44% increase found in the study for "renewable energy" reflects much slower growth in hydro, biomass, and geothermal over the period.
This study also confirms that the rise of renewables and gas to make electricity is a main reason why air pollution is falling substantially across the country. Here is the link to the full report: