What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?
In 2020, about 4,009 billion kilowatthours (kWh) (or about 4.01 trillion kWh) of electricity were generated at utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the United States.1 About 60% of this electricity generation was from fossil fuels—coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases. About 20% was from nuclear energy, and about 20% was from renewable energy sources.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that an additional 42 billion kWh of electricity generation was from small-scale solar photovoltaic systems in 2020.2
U.S. utility-scale electricity generation by source, amount, and share of total in 20201
|Preliminary data as of February 2021|
|Energy source||Billion kWh||Share of total|
|Total - all sources||4,009|
|Fossil fuels (total)||2,419||60.3%|
|Municipal solid waste (biogenic)||6||0.2%|
|Other biomass waste||2||0.1%|
|Pumped storage hydropower3||-5||-0.1%|
1Utility-scale electricity generation is electricity generation from power plants with at least one megawatt (or 1,000 kilowatts) of total electricity generating capacity. Data are for net electricity generation.
2 Small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are electricity generators with less than one megawatt (MW) of electricity generating capacity, which are not connected at a power plant that has a combined capacity of one MW or larger. Most small-scale PV systems are at or near the location where the electricity is consumed and many are net metered systems. The smaller ones are usually installed on building rooftops.
3 Pumped storage hydroelectricity generation is negative because most pumped storage electricity generation facilities use more electricity than they produce on an annual basis. Most pumped storage systems use fossil fuels or nuclear energy for pumping water to the storage component of the system.
4 Other sources includes non-biogenic municipal solid waste, batteries, hydrogen, purchased steam, sulfur, tire-derived fuel, and other miscellaneous energy sources.
Electric Power Monthly: Chapter 1: Net Generation
Electric Power Annual: Chapter 3: Net Generation
Monthly Energy Review: Electricity
Energy Explained: Electricity in the United States
Last updated: March 5, 2021
Other FAQs about Electricity
- Can electric utility customers choose their electricity supplier?
- Does EIA have county-level energy production data?
- Does EIA have data on costs for electricity transmission and distribution?
- Does EIA have data on each power plant in the United States?
- Does EIA have forecasts or projections for energy production, consumption, and prices for individual states?
- Does EIA have information on unplanned outages or shutdowns of U.S. energy infrastructure?
- Does EIA publish data on peak or hourly electricity generation, demand, and prices?
- Does EIA publish electric utility rate, tariff, and demand charge data?
- Does EIA publish electricity consumption and price data by state and by utility?
- Does EIA publish energy consumption and price data for cities, counties, or by zip code?
- Does EIA publish the location of electric power plants, transmission lines, and substations?
- How is electricity used in U.S. homes?
- How many alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles are there in the United States?
- How many nuclear power plants are in the United States, and where are they located?
- How many power plants are there in the United States?
- How many smart meters are installed in the United States, and who has them?
- How much coal, natural gas, or petroleum is used to generate a kilowatthour of electricity?
- How much does it cost to build different types of power plants in the United States?
- How much does it cost to generate electricity with different types of power plants?
- How much electricity does a nuclear power plant generate?
- How much electricity does an American home use?
- How much electricity is lost in electricity transmission and distribution in the United States?
- How much electricity is used for cooling in the United States?
- How much electricity is used for lighting in the United States?
- How much energy does the world consume by each energy end-use sector?
- How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation?
- How much of U.S. energy consumption and electricity generation comes from renewable energy sources?
- How much of world energy consumption and production is from renewable energy?
- How old are U.S. nuclear power plants, and when was the newest one built?
- What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?
- What is the difference between electricity generation capacity and electricity generation?
- What is the efficiency of different types of power plants?
- What is the outlook for home heating fuel prices this winter?
- What types and amounts of energy are produced in each state?