In the United States, electricity derived from coal has declined over the past two decades, with the annual output dropping by more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2021. In contrast, there has been a rise in natural gas and renewable sources within the energy mix. In fact, natural gas has even surpassed coal, to become the North American country's leading source of electricity generation.
How is electricity generated in the U.S.?
Most electricity in the U.S. is generated from steam turbines, which can be powered by the use of fossil and nuclear fuels, biomass, geothermal, and solar thermal energy. Other systems such as gas turbines, hydro turbines, wind turbines, and solar photovoltaics are also major generation technologies. Electric utilities in the U.S. generated more than two thousand terawatt hours in 2021, accounting for just over half of the power output in the country that year.
According to the source: Coal: includes anthracite, bituminous coal, subbituminous coal, lignite, waste coal, and coal synfuel. Petroleum: includes fuel oil, residual fuel oil, petroleum coke, jet fuel, kerosene, other petroleum, and waste oil. Natural gas: includes natural gas, plus a small amount of supplemental gaseous fuels. Other gases: includes last furnace gas, propane gas, other manufactured and waste gases derived from fossil fuels. Hydroelectric pumped storage: includes pumped storage facility production minus energy used for pumping. Renewables: figures were calculated by Statista and include hydroelectric conventional, biomass, geothermal, solar/PV, and wind.
Values have been rounded. Totals may not equal sum of components due to independent rounding.
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EIA. (March 29, 2022). Net electricity generation in the United States from 1990 to 2021, by energy source (in terawatt hours) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved May 29, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/220174/total-us-electricity-net-generation-by-fuel/
EIA. "Net electricity generation in the United States from 1990 to 2021, by energy source (in terawatt hours)." Chart. March 29, 2022. Statista. Accessed May 29, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/220174/total-us-electricity-net-generation-by-fuel/
EIA. (2022). Net electricity generation in the United States from 1990 to 2021, by energy source (in terawatt hours). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: May 29, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/220174/total-us-electricity-net-generation-by-fuel/
EIA. "Net Electricity Generation in The United States from 1990 to 2021, by Energy Source (in Terawatt Hours)." Statista, Statista Inc., 29 Mar 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/220174/total-us-electricity-net-generation-by-fuel/
EIA, Net electricity generation in the United States from 1990 to 2021, by energy source (in terawatt hours) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/220174/total-us-electricity-net-generation-by-fuel/ (last visited May 29, 2022)