After talking a lot about coal and some of its ups and downs, one might wonder how much of their electricity comes from coal, and how much from other sources. I did a little digging and found the numbers. But numbers can be hard to read, so don’t worry, I made a pie chart for easier comprehension.
This is the 2016 data which just came out; it takes awhile to collect the information I suppose. For the whole US, natural gas comes in first place at 33.8%, then coal at 30.4%, and nuclear is third with 19.8%. The percentages quickly go downhill from there, as you can tell by the pie chart.
This is a fairly predictable picture. What is more interesting to see is how widely the percentages vary when you look at different states. It would take quite awhile to do all the calculations and make each individual pie chart, but I will do a few to show the variation.
California gets 49.3% of its electricity from natural gas, but also has a nice compliment of cleaner and renewable sources. Very little fossil fuel consumption.
Rhode Island is another state that gets a good portion of its electricity from natural gas, but as you can see its pie chart looks very different. The 95.8% natural gas is supplemented with some renewables, and the state does not use any coal.
Vermont generates 56.4% of its electricity from hydro power. It also uses an unusually large amount of wood products to generate electricity. Wind is a significant source of clean energy for the state, at 15.2%.
West Virginia generates 94.2% of its electricity from coal, the most of any state, although it is also a very significant coal mining area which is likely a big factor. Small percentages of hydro and wind.
South Carolina uses nuclear generation for 57.6% of its electricity. Coal and natural gas make up a large portion of the remaining energy.
As you can see, energy sources vary widely by state. If you would like to do more digging and play around with the numbers yourself, they are located on the Energy Information Administration website (I used the first spreadsheet in the list).
Perhaps one of these days I will make pie charts for the remaining states. Until then, if you would like to know what your state’s electricity sources look like, I could take requests!
*This post is part of HFTH’s Energy Week 2017! Stay tuned for more energy-related topics!*