The EIA states that 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 US decreased nearly 15%, and total renewable energy consumption grew by 1%.
Historically, wood was the main source of US energy until the mid-1800s and was the only commercial-scale renewable source of energy in the US 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.