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How the U.S. is Powered

The United States gains its electricity from many different sources. These sources include coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and oil. Although the country is trying to embrace clean energy, there’s still more progress to be made.

Coal

Currently, 511 coal-powered electric plants generate 34 percent of the U.S.’s electricity. It remains the leading fuel for electricity. However, it has become much less prevalent than it was in the late 1980’s.

Natural Gas

Just below coal is natural gas. With 1,740 natural gas-powered electric plants, it generates 30 percent of the energy. Over the past decade, more natural gas supplies have been found from shale deposits.

Nuclear

Twenty percent of the nation’s electricity has been generated by 63 nuclear plants. These plants are more common in the East and there are five new plants under construction. Twenty states have no nuclear electricity generation.

Hydroelectric

When it comes to hydroelectric power, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are in the lead. It’s a huge power source for the Pacific Northwest, but also contributes seven percent of the electricity nationally with 1,436 plants.

Wind

Wind is the fastest-growing power source in the U.S. There are 843 wind-powered electric plants generating five percent of the nation’s electricity. It’s especially popular in the Great Plains where there is a reliable wind source.

Solar

Solar power works best in places that have continuous sunshine. That’s why many of the southwestern states rely on solar power, while 39 states have no solar generating plants. Even with 772 solar-powered electric plants in the U.S., solar power makes up only one percent of the nation’s electricity usage.

Oil

Oil’s popularity as a source for electricity has died out. With 1,098 oil-powered plants, it generates only one percent of the U.S.’s electricity.

The new Clean Power Plan’s goal is to cut carbon pollution, in turn reducing climate change. With more of the nation’s energy coming from renewable energy sources, the goal could be achievable. To learn more about conserving energy around the house and going green, visit Eco Electric’s website.