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2022 National Energy Resource Mix*
- Coal provided 19.3 percent of our nation's electricity.
- Natural gas supplied 39.3 percent.
- Nuclear energy produced 18.0 percent.
- Wind provided 10.2 percent.
- Hydropower provided 6.1 percent of the supply.
- Other renewable resources, such as biomass, geothermal, and solar, provided 6.4 percent.
- Other fuel sources, including fuel oil, provided 0.8 percent of the generation mix.
*data is preliminary
The Mix of Resources Used to Generate Electricity Has Changed Dramatically
Electric Companies Use a Diverse Mix Of Resources to Generate Electricity
- Preliminary estimates suggest that as of year-end 2021, the electric power sector’s carbon emissions were 36 percent below 2005 levels. In addition, emissions from the electric power sector are no longer the leading source of the nation’s CO2 and have been lower than the emissions from the transportation sector since 2016.
- Since 1990, the industry has cut sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 94 percent and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 88 percent.
- As a result of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and other Clean Air Act regulations, from 2010 to 2017, the electric power industry has reduced mercury emissions by 86 percent and total emissions of hazardous air pollutants by 96 percent. National total power sector mercury emissions have been reduced by 95 percent over the period 1990 to 2021 (from 59 to 3 tons per year).
Power Plant Emissions Drop Significantly Since 1990
U.S. Power Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions Declining
Capacity and Generation
- Total installed generating capacity in the United States was 1,256,427 megawatts (MW) as of December 31, 2021, an increase of 26,567 MW over year-end 2020 capacity totals.
- Investments in wind and solar energy accounted for 28,071 MW or 81 percent of approximately 35,000 MW of electricity capacity additions in the United States in 2021.
- A total of 7,348 MW of coal generating capacity was retired in 2021.
- In 2021, total U.S. electricity generation was 4,115,135 gigawatt- hours (GWh)—an increase of 2.6 percent over total generation in 2020.
- U.S. investor-owned electric companies accounted for 1,377,614 GWh, or 33.5 percent, of total U.S. electricity generation in 2021.
- Electricity generation at independent power producer-owned plants totaled 1,918,425 GWh, accounting for 46.6 percent of the total electricity generation in the United States in 2021.
Sources of Electric Generation (by type of ownership)
Transmission and Distribution
- In 2020, investor-owned electric companies spent $25.0 billion on transmission investment, compared to $23.7 billion in 2019 (in nominal dollars), and were projected to spend $27.8 billion in 2021.
- Investor-owned electric companies are planning to invest approximately $109 billion on transmission construction between 2021 and 2024 (in nominal dollars).
- In 2020, investor-owned electric companies spent $40.3 billion on distribution investment, compared to $36.0 billion in 2019 (in nominal dollars).
- Between 2016 and 2020, investor-owned electric companies invested $164 billion (in nominal dollars) on the U.S. distribution system.
Historical and Projected Transmission Investment
- In 2021, total energy operating revenues of investor-owned electric companies were $386 billion.
- Consolidated holding company-level assets of investor-owned electric companies were $1,941 billion as of December 31, 2021.
- Of these assets, $1,244 billion were net property in service.
- Total market capitalization of U.S. investor-owned electric companies was $1,028 billion on December 31, 2021.
Customers, Sales, and Revenues
- In 2021, the average number of customers served by the electric power industry was 159,135,213.
- The average annual electricity use per residential customer in 2021 was 10,037 kilowatt-hours (kWh).
- Total electric company revenues from sales to ultimate customers equaled $424.3 billion—a 7.8 percent increase over 2020 total revenues.
- In 2021, the average electricity price to residential customers was 13.72 cents/kWh.