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Electricity explained  

Data for the United States for 2021 (except where noted).

Note: MW = megawatts, MWh = megawatthours, KW = kilowatts, and kWh = kilowatthours

Electricity generation from utility-scale power plants (net generation) 1
Total net generation 4,108,303 thousand MWh or about 4.11 trillion kWh
Share of total net generation by energy source  
Natural gas 38.4%
Coal 21.9%
Nuclear 18.9%
Nonhydroelectric renewables total 13.7%
Wind 9.2%
Solar (total) 2.8%
Biomass (total) 1.3%
Geothermal 0.4%
Hydroelectric (conventional) 6.1%
Petroleum and other sources 2 0.9%
Number of electricity generators 24,645
Largest power plant by net generation Palo Verde (nuclear)—31,629,862 MWh or about 31.6 billion kWh
Electricity generation capacity of utility-scale power plants (net summer capacity) 1
Total net capacity
1,145,856 MW or about 1.15 billion KW
Share of capacity by energy source  
Natural gas 42.9%
Coal 18.3%
Nonhydroelectric renewables total 18.3%
Wind 11.6%
Solar (total) 5.4%
Biomass (total) 1.1%
Geothermal 0.2%
Hydroelectric (total) 9.0%
Conventional hydro 7.0%
Pumped storage hydro 2.0%
Nuclear 8.3%
Petroleum (total) 2.5%
Other 0.7%
  Total may not equal 100% because of independent rounding.
Largest power plant by capacity Grand Coulee Dam (hydroelectric)—7,079 MW
Electricity consumption (end use) and price
Total end use 3,944,789,321 MWh or about 3.94 trillion kWh
Share of end use by type  
Electricity retail sales (total) 96.5%
Direct use of electricity 3.5%
Electricity retail sales and shares by sector 3,805,874,253 MWh or about 3.81 trillion kWh
Residential sector 38.6%
Commercial sector 34.9%
Industrial sector 26.3%
Transportation sector 0.2%
Largest electric utility by retail sales (within state) Florida Power & Light Company—112,395,915 MWh or about 112 billion kWh
Retail prices by sector (average annual)  
Residential 13.66 cents per kWh
Commercial 11.22 cents per kWh
Industrial   7.18 cents per kWh
Transportation 10.20 cents per kWh
Average (all sectors) 11.10 cents per kWh
State retail price rankings (average annual price for all sectors) Highest—Hawaii at 30.31 cents per kWh
Lowest—Idaho at 8.17 cents per kWh
Average residential monthly consumption 886 kWh
Average residential monthly bill $121.01
Largest electric utility by retail sales revenues (within state) Florida Power and Light—$11.38 billion
Emissions
Emissions from electric power plants  
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1,651,911 thousand metric tons (about 1.65 billion metric tons or about 1.82 billion short tons)
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) 1,168 thousand metric tons (about 1.17 million metric tons or about 1.29 million short tons)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 1,253 thousand metric tons (about 1.25 million metric tons or about 1.38 million short tons

1 Utility-scale power plants have at least one MW of electric generation capacity.
2 Includes petroleum coke, petroleum liquids, other gases, other miscellaneous sources not included above, and pumped-storage hydroelectricity.


Last updated: November 17, 2022, with most recent data available at the time of update.