Fuel Mix

2020 National Energy Resource Mix

  • ​Coal provided 19.1 percent of our nation's electricity.
  • Natural gas supplied 39.9 percent.
  • Nuclear energy produced 19.5 percent.
  • Wind provided 8.3 percent.
  • Hydropower provided 7.2 percent of the supply.
  • Other renewable resources, such as biomass, geothermal, and solar, provided 5.1 percent.
  • Other fuel sources, including fuel oil, provided 0.9 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 2020, industry CO2 emissions were 40 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 95 percent and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 88 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.
Capacity and Generation
  • ​Total installed generating capacity in the United States was 1,229,482 megawatts (MW) as of December 31, 2020, an increase of 16,898 MW over year-end 2019 capacity totals. 
  • Investments in wind and solar energy accounted for 26,299 MW or 75 percent of approximately 35,000 MW of electricity capacity additions in the United States in 2020. 
  • A total of 9,600 MW of coal generating capacity was retired in 2020.
  • In 2020, total U.S. electricity generation was 4,009,085 gigawatt-hours (GWh)—a decrease of 2.9 percent from total generation in 2019.
  • U.S. investor-owned electric companies accounted for 1,350,672 GWh, or 33.7 percent, of total U.S. electricity generation. 
  • Electricity generation at independent power producer-owned plants totaled 1,868,313 GWh, accounting for 46.6 percent of the total electricity generation in the United States in 2020.
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 2020, total energy operating revenues of investor-owned electric companies were $351 billion.
  • Consolidated holding company-level assets of investor-owned electric companies were $1,867 billion as of December 31, 2020.
  • Of these assets, $1,199 billion were net property in service.
  • Total market capitalization of U.S. investor-owned electric companies was $894 billion on December 31, 2020.


Industry Capital Expenditures​

Customers, Sales, and Revenues
  • In 2020, the average number of ultimate customers served by the electric power industry totaled 156,771,396—a 1.2 percent increase from 2019.    
  • The average annual electricity use per residential customer in 2020 was 10,667 kilowatthours (kWh).  
  • Total electric company revenues from sales to ultimate customers equaled $391 billion—a 2.8 percent decrease from 2019 total revenues. 
  • ​In 2020, the average residential price of electricity to retail customers was 13.20 cents/kWh.
Company Highlights
    Additional Resources