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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation?

In 2020, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the U.S. electric power sector were 1,448 million metric tons (MMmt), or about 32% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions of 4,571 (MMmt).

CO2 emissions by U.S. electric power sector by source, 2020

SourceMillion metric tonsShare of sector total
Coal  78654%
Natural gas  63544%
Petroleum    16
  1%
Other1    11
<1%
Total1,448
 

1Preliminary data for 2020. Includes CO2 emissions from the combustion of miscellaneous waste materials made from fossil fuels and by some types of geothermal power generation.

Learn more:
Monthly Energy Review, Tables 11.1 and 11.6 contain the most recent estimates of monthly and annual U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions, total and by the electric power sector.
U.S. CO2 emissions from energy consumption by source and sector, 2020
U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions
State Carbon Dioxide Emissions Data
Energy Explained: Where Greenhouse Gases Come From

Last updated: May 14, 2021


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