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Fuel Mix

2019 National Energy Resource Mix

  • Coal provided 23.3 percent of our nation's electricity.
  • Natural gas supplied 38.1 percent.
  • Nuclear energy produced 19.5 percent.
  • Wind provided 7.2 percent.
  • Hydropower provided 6.6 percent of the supply.
  • Other renewable resources, such as biomass, geothermal, and solar, provided 4.4 percent.
  • Other fuel sources, including fuel oil, provided 1.0 percent of the generation mix.


​The Mix of Resources Used to Generate Electricity Has Changed Dramatically​

Electric Companies Use a Diverse Mix Of Resources to Generate Electricity

Emission Reductions
  • By the end of 2019, industry CO2 emissions were 33 percent below 2005 levels, driven in part by low natural gas prices, increased deployment of renewable generation and customer demands.

  • Since 1990, the industry has cut sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 94 percent and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 86 percent.

  • EPA projects that power sector mercury emissions will be reduced by approximately 90 percent due to its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and other Clean Air Act regulations.


Power Plant Emissions Drop Significantly Since 1990

U.S. Power Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions Declining

Capacity and Generation
  • Total installed generating capacity in the United States was 1,202,783 megawatts (MW) as of December 31, 2018, an increase of 8,898 MW over year-end 2017 capacity totals.  19,831 MW of natural gas generating capacity was added in 2018 along with 8,203 MW of wind capacity and 5,341 MW of universal solar capacity.
  • A total of 13,723 MW of coal generating capacity was retired in 2018.
  • In 2018, total U.S. electricity generation was 4,169,474 gigawatt-hours (GWh)—an increase of 3.4 percent  from 2017.    
  • U.S. investor-owned electric companies accounted for 1,421,464 GWh, or 34.1 percent, of total U.S. electricity generation. 
  • Electricity generation at non-utility-owned plants totaled 1,884,349 GWh, accounting for 45.2 percent of the total electricity generation in the United States.
Transmission and Distribution
  • In 2019, investor-owned electric companies spent $23.4 billion on transmission investment, compared to $22.2 billion in 2018 (in nominal dollars), and were projected to spend $26.1 billion in 2020.
  • Investor-owned electric companies are planning to invest approximately $106 billion on transmission construction between 2020 and 2023 (in nominal dollars).
  • In 2019, investor-owned electric companies spent $35.6 billion on distribution investment, compared to $31.6 billion in 2018 (in nominal dollars).
  • Between 2015 and 2019, investor-owned electric companies invested $149 billion (in nominal dollars) on the U.S. distribution system.


Historical and Projected Transmission Investment

  • ​​In 2018, total energy operating revenues of investor-owned electric companies were $366 billion.
  • Consolidated holding company-level assets of investor-owned electric companies were $1,625 billion as of December 31, 2018.
  • Of these assets, $1,053 billion were net property in service.
  • Total market capitalization of U.S. investor-owned electric companies was $731 billion on December 31, 2018.


Industry Capital Expenditures

Customers, Sales, and Revenues
  • In 2018, the average number of ultimate customers served by the electric power industry totaled 153,308,948—a 1.0 percent increase from 2017.    
  • The average annual electricity use per residential customer was 10,929 kilowatt-hours (kWh).  
  • Total electric company revenues from sales to ultimate customers equaled $402 billion—a 3.1 percent increase from 2017. 
  • In 2018, the average residential price of electricity to retail customers was 12.89 cents/kWh.
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