The Top 5 Sources of Electricity Generation in the United States

  Source Percentage of Total
1 Coal 45%
2 Natural Gas 23%
3 Nuclear Electric Power 20%
4 Hydroelectric Power 7%
5 Other sources* 5%
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 Facts
  1. Electricity generating plants now consume two-fifths of U.S. energy from all sources, including about 90% of America's coal and nearly 30% of its natural gas. Experts predict a 26% increase in demand for electricity in the United States by 2030. In practical terms, that means an equivalent increase in demand for coal and gas, at least for the next decade.
  2. According to EIA projections, during the next two decades, renewable sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal are unlikely to substantially change the mix of U.S. energy supply.
  3. In the United States, the amount of electricity generated from wind in 2008 was almost five times greater than the amount generated in 2002.
  4. About 0.1% of the total energy supply in the United States came from solar sources in 2008 whereas biomass contributes the most to the U.S. renewable energy supply (about 4% to the total U.S. energy supply in 2008). Solar radiation reaches Earth with more than enough energy in a single square meter to illuminate five 60-watt light-bulbs if all the sunlight could be captured and converted to electricity.
  5. According to government estimates, output from nuclear power plants is expected to increase 10% by 2030. As many as five to nine new plants could be built by 2020, according to an AEF (America's Energy Future) report. The new plants, combined with new capacity obtained by modifying existing plants, could lead to as much as a 12% to 20% increase in U.S. nuclear capacity by 2020.
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. The National Academies. (2010). "What You Need to Know About Energy". Retrieved November 19th, 2010.
Tags: The Economy, The United States, Energy Statistics

Sources:  U.S. Energy Information Administration: Annual Energy Review 2009.

List Notes: Data is source of U.S. electricity for the year 2009.

*Other sources include: wind, petroleum, wood, waste, geothermal, other gases, solar thermal and photovoltaic, batteries, chemicals, hydrogen, pitch, purchased steam, sulfur, miscellaneous technologies, and non-renewable waste (municipal solid waste from non-biogenic sources, and tire-derived fuels).
Sources of Electricity Generation in the United States

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