Gita Subramony for Zondits, September 22, 2015. Image credit: TBIT
NPR has produced a nifty graphic showing changes in electric generation sources state-by-state from 2004 to 2014. On a national level, the use of coal to generate electricity has dropped from 51% to 40%, while the use of natural gas and renewables has increased on the whole. Each state, however, tells its own story. California, for example, has shown a 10% increase in the use of renewable energy over the 10-year period, likely due to policies and programs that incentivize renewable technologies. Minnesota also saw a jump in electricity generated from renewables (up to 18% from 2%). Natural gas for electric generation has also grown in states including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Nevada. Other states such as Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wyoming still generate the majority of their electricity from coal. Places such as Indiana and West Virginia with strong ties to the coal industry have recently passed controversial legislation that limits clean energy, renewables, and energy efficiency.
Coal, Gas, Nuclear, Hydro? How Your State Generates Power
NPR, September 10, 2015
The government has proposed new standards to lower emissions from coal-fueled power plants. But overall, the country is relying less on coal for power. In 40 states, use of coal as a power source (as a share of all power sources) has dropped since 2004. Many of these states are increasingly relying on natural gas instead.