Electricity production has become an unavoidable topic in the U.S. recently. Hurricane Ida cut electricity to almost all of New Orleans. Some towns nearby may not get their electricity back for weeks. It caused similar problems as it moved northeast and into New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. In March, huge snowstorms cut electricity to much of Texas. The The Electric Reliability Council of Texas which controls most of the state’s energy nearly collapsed. And, because of a lack of rain in the West, the Hoover dam, which provides hydroelectric power, faces a drop in the the waters that feed its massive turbines.
Choose Energy recently reviewed how much of the nation’s electricity is provided by each state. It researchers used data from the the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In a new report, Choose Energy found that states rely on several sources to generate electricity. The authors pointed out that:
The data delivered some expected results. West Virginia depends heavily on coal, for example. It also reveals some surprising ones. Vermont gets about 12 percent of its power from wind turbines.
Texas led the list. It produces 11% of the nation’s electricity. Almost 46% of this is created through the use of natural gas. Other categories of electricity across the 50 states include coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, and wind.
Pennsylvania fell well behind Texas taking second place as it produced 6.4% of the nation’s electricity. It was followed by Florida at 5.2% and Illinois at 4.6%.
What is the future of electricity generation in the U.S. over the next several years? A study from The New York Times would indicate natural gas, and perhaps several years out, solar and wind. In 2020, the Times reported:
America isn’t making electricity the way it did two decades ago: Natural gas has edged out coal as the country’s leading generation source …
This evolution in the sources, however, will not solve among the main problems with the use of electricity as a means to generate energy. The U.S. energy grid is old. It cannot withstand major natural disasters in many geographic areas. And, there are concerns that the grid can easily be “hacked”, and therefore shut down. The Biden Administration has been at work in an attempt to lessen the chance this can happen. But, a complete solution is years in the future.
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