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Electricity explained  

Data for the United States for 2020 (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 4,007,019 thousand MWh or about 4.01 trillion kWh
Share of total net generation by energy source  
Natural gas 40.5%
Coal 19.3%
Nuclear 19.7%
Nonhydroelectric renewables 12.4%
Hydroelectric (conventional) 7.1%
Petroleum and other sources 1.0%
Number of electricity generators 23,417
Largest power plant by net generation Palo Verde (nuclear)—31,552,433 MWh or about 31.6 billion kWh
Electricity generation capacity of utility-scale power plants (net summer capacity) 1
Total net capacity
1,115,681 MW or about 1.1 billion KW
Share of capacity by energy source  
Natural gas 43.5%
Coal 19.3%
Nonhydroelectric renewables 16.3%
Hydroelectric (total) 9.2%
Conventional hydro 7.2%
Pumped storage hydro 2.1%
Nuclear 8.6%
Petroleum 2.5%
Other 0.5%
  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 3,856,364 million kWh or about 3.86 trillion kWh
Share of end use by type  
Electricity retail sales (total) 96.4%
Direct use of electricity 3.6%
Electricity retail sales and shares by sector 3,717,674 million kWh or about 3.7 trillion kWh
Residential sector 39.4%
Commercial sector 34.6%
Industrial sector 25.8%
Transportation sector 0.2%
Largest electric utility by retail sales (within state) Florida Power & Light Company—113,663,998 MWh or about 114 billion kWh
Retail prices by sector (average annual)  
Residential 13.15 cents per kWh
Commercial 10.59 cents per kWh
Industrial   6.67 cents per kWh
Transportation   9.90 cents per kWh
Average (all sectors) 10.59 cents per kWh
State retail price rankings (average annual price for all sectors) Highest—Hawaii at 27.55 cents per kWh
Lowest—Louisiana at 7.51 cents per kWh
Average residential monthly consumption 893 kWh
Average residential monthly bill $117.46
Largest electric utility by retail sales revenues (within state) Florida Power and Light—$10.65 billion
Emissions from electric power plants  
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1,552,960 thousand metric tons (about 1.55 billion metric tons or about 1.71 billion short tons)
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) 1,023 thousand metric tons (about 1.02 million metric tons or about 1.13 million short tons)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 1,211 thousand metric tons (about 1.21 million metric tons or about 1.33 million short tons

1 Utility-scale power plants have at least one MW of electric generation capacity.

Last updated: November 3, 2021