How does USA generate electricity?
How did the United States produce electricity from 2001 to 2017?
America doesn’t produce electricity as well as it did two decades ago: natural gas has replaced coal as the nation’s main source of generation, and renewables like wind and solar have made small but rapid gains. But every country has its own history.
In Nevada, natural gas overtook coal as the primary source of electricity generation in 2005, ahead of many other states. Coal’s role in the state’s energy mix has steadily declined since then.
In Iowa, wind power has taken off over the past decade. It now accounts for nearly 40% of the electricity generated in the state.
But in West Virginia, coal is still almost always a source of power generation.
Overall, fossil fuels still dominate electricity generation in the United States. But the switch from coal to natural gas has helped reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Coal was the main source of electricity in 18 states last year, up from 32 states in 2001.
But experts warn that switching to natural gas alone will not be enough to reduce emissions and avoid dangerous global warming.
“The transition from coal to natural gas is good in the short term, but it is not the long-term solution,” said Severin Bornstein, director of the Energy Institute at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Gas still produces a lot of greenhouse gases. We cannot sit on the gas and solve this problem. Ultimately, we will have to move to much lower or zero carbon sources. »
We mapped each state’s electricity generation mix from 2001 to 2017 using data from the US Energy Information Administration. Scroll down or go to your status:
How Alabama produced electricity from 2001 to 2017
In 2001, coal powered more than half of the electricity generated in Alabama, but many of the state’s old coal plants have closed or are in the process of being converted to burn cheaper natural gas. In 2017, natural gas was the country’s main source of electricity, followed by nuclear. Coal ranked third and provides less than a quarter of the state’s electricity generation.
Alabama produces more electricity than it consumes and typically sends about a third of its output to neighboring states.
How did Alaska generate electricity from 2001 to 2017?
Natural gas has been the main source of electricity generation in Alaska since 2001, but hydropower has increased its share during that time. The country wants to get 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, but that target is voluntary and has no legal weight.
Alaska has its own power grid, meaning “all the electricity that’s generated there is consumed,” said Glenn McGrath, an energy systems analyst at the Energy Information Administration. “It’s as lonely as it gets.
Many rural Alaskan communities are not connected to the main grid at all and use diesel generators for electricity.
How Arizona produced electricity from 2001 to 2017
Coal was the main source of electricity generation in Arizona until 2016, when natural gas produced more electricity. Natural gas, nuclear and coal provided just under a third of the electricity generated in the state last year.
However, electricity generated from coal is expected to continue to decline. The Navajo State Generator, the largest coal-fired power plant in the West, is scheduled to close in 2019, largely due to competition from cheaper natural gas.
Arizona provides electricity throughout the Southwest. The state has abundant solar potential and will require utilities to get 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. In November, voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have raised that goal to a more ambitious 50 percent until 2035.
How did Arkansas generate electricity from 2001 to 2017?
Coal was the number one source of electricity produced in Arkansas every year from 2001 to 2017, but its share of production has slowly declined over that period. Meanwhile, natural gas accounted for more than a quarter of the electricity generated in the state last year, up from just 6 percent in 2001.
Arkansas produces more electricity than it uses and exports electricity to neighboring states.
How California produced electricity from 2001 to 2017
Natural gas has been the main source of electricity in California since 2001. However, half of the energy produced in the state last year came from renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower.
Hydropower, which declined between 2014 and 2015 due to drought, rebounded last year to provide the largest share of renewable energy generation in the state. Solar power has grown rapidly over the past five years, largely due to government policies such as the strict renewable energy standard. This year, California committed to getting all of its electricity from carbon-neutral sources by 2045.
Last year, nearly a quarter of the electricity consumed in the state, some of which was generated by coal, came from outside its borders. (The intakes are not shown in the image above). However, California plans to stop buying power from coal-fired power plants in Utah and other states.
How did Colorado generate electricity from 2001 to 2017?
The vast majority of electricity generated in Colorado comes from fossil fuels: about half from coal and a quarter from natural gas. But wind power has grown over the past decade. Last year, wind was the third largest source of electricity generated in Colorado, accounting for nearly a fifth of the state’s generation.
Colorado has made it a requirement that by 2020, 30% of the electricity sold by utilities come from renewable sources.
How Connecticut produced electricity from 2001 to 2017
Nuclear power and natural gas provided the vast majority of electricity generated in Connecticut between 2001 and 2017. Gas-fired power grew during that time, accounting for nearly half of electricity generation. state electricity last year, up from just 13% two decades ago. . Coal-fired power generation has all but disappeared in the state, and Connecticut’s last coal-fired power plant, Port Bridgeport, is slated to close in 2021.
Five percent of the electricity generated in Connecticut came from renewable sources in 2017. This year, the state expanded its renewable energy standards to require utilities to get 40 percent of the electricity they sell to consumers from renewable sources. sources by 2030.
How did Delaware generate electricity from 2001 to 2017?
Natural gas replaced coal as the primary source of electricity generated in Delaware in 2010, and coal’s share of generation has declined significantly since then. Coal provided 70% of the electricity generated in Delaware in 2008, the peak year, but just under 5% in 2017. Natural gas more than quadrupled its share of generation over the same period.
Thanks in part to this change, carbon dioxide emissions from the state’s energy sector have fallen over the past decade. Delaware will require utilities to get 25% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
Power generated in the state provides “between two-thirds and three-quarters of the electricity sold to Delaware customers,” according to the E.I.A. The rest come from neighboring countries through a regional network. (Imports are not shown in the table above).
How did Florida generate electricity from 2001 to 2017?
In 2001, more than a third of the electricity generated in Florida came from burning coal, but natural gas overtook coal as the state’s primary source of generation two years later and has continued to increase its share of the state’s energy mix. In 2017, natural gas accounted for two-thirds of Florida’s electricity generation, more than double the national average.
Florida is the second largest producer of electricity nationally after Texas, but still relies on imports from neighboring states to meet consumer demand.
Despite its nickname, the Sunshine State produces very little solar energy and requires no renewable energy.