Renewable Power Exceeded Coal For The First Time in US History And None of Us Noticed

This April, renewables were put to the test like never before. For the first time in United States history, clean energy sources shouldered more of the nation's electricity needs than coal.

A monthly report from the Energy Information Administration shows that renewables such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric dams provided 23 percent of the month's electricity, while coal supplied only 20 percent.

The difference boils down to roughly 8.5 million megawatt-hours less of fossil fuel-driven power. It's also the least amount of coal the US has burned in over a decade.

The accomplishment has some counting down the years until coal is a thing of the past. A recent report, published just after April, noted that in the past three years alone, the number of coal-fired power plants being developed around the world has plummeted.

Even in the US, where President Donald Trump has promised to bring back coal, 50 such plants have closed since the last presidential election.

Combined with the lowering cost of renewables and the rapid spread of 'clean' technology, the overall trend is enough to turn our energy system on its head. Still, the month of April was marked by some unusual events which helped set the stage for this major milestone.