Coal Covers the Most Ground

The Editors | August 19, 5:05 pm

Coal remains the single largest source of electricity generation in the United States, at 37 percent of all production, and natural gas is second at 30 percent. But the sources of energy used to feed the electric grid vary widely based on the natural resources and regulatory environments in different geographic areas.

Twenty-one states, concentrated in the middle of the country, use coal to produce the majority of their electricity, while natural gas is more predominant in the northeast and south. Renewables (a category including hydroelectric, wind, biomass and geothermal energy) are used most widely in the pacific northwest and Maine.

Vermont, home to one of the nation's 104 operational nuclear power plants, gets about three-fourths of its electricity from nuclear energy and almost all the rest from renewables. Only Hawaii relies heavily on petroleum.

Hover on the map to see the full breakdown for each state.

About the Data

The data is from the Energy Information Administration’s state electricity profiles, last released in January 2013 with 2010 data. National figures quoted above are from 2012.