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Electricity in United States in 2023

Global Ranking: #13
40.8% #80 Low-carbon electricity
1452.15 watts #10 Generation / person
352.47 gCO2eq/kWh #80 Carbon Intensity

As of 2023, the energy mix in the United States is largely dependent upon fossil fuels, with nearly 60% of electricity generated from these sources. Dominating this fossil-powered proportion is natural gas, producing around 42% of the overall share. Coal also forms a significant contributor at nearly 16%. Low-carbon sources play a meaningful role, providing around 41% of the U.S.'s electricity. Nuclear leads the low-carbon energy sources with a contribution of 18%, followed by wind and solar which supply close to 10% and 6% of electricity respectively. Hydropower is also a significant contributor, nearly matching solar's production levels. Biofuels are currently the least utilized among low-carbon sources, generating just above 1% of U.S' electricity.

Suggestions

To boost low-carbon electricity generation, the United States could expand its nuclear facilities, capitalizing on the fact that the nation already derives a significant portion of its power from nuclear energy. There is ample potential by looking at international success stories in clean energy adoption, such as France, Slovakia, and Ukraine, which generate 66%, 61%, and 58% of their electricity from nuclear, respectively. Wind energy, too, can be further harnessed, drawing inspiration from Denmark, where it accounts for 59% of electricity generation. By strategically mimicking the practices seen in these countries, the United States can continue to shift its energy landscape towards cleaner, sustainable options.

History

Historically, the United States' electricity generation from low-carbon energy sources has seen considerable fluctuations. In the late 1970s and 1980s, both nuclear and hydropower saw substantial increases, with nuclear generation growing by 63.3 TWh in 1975 and hydropower decreasing initially in 1977 but bouncing back with a 60.6 TWh increase in 1978. However, the early 2000s marked a difficult time for hydropower, with a significant drop in 2001, though this was followed by a significant increase a year later. In recent times, the contribution from nuclear has seen a marked decline, with a drop of 53.5 TWh in 2020, a trend which is worrying due to the pivotal role nuclear energy can play in the transition to low-carbon energy. Interestingly, wind power saw a robust increase of 56.2 TWh in 2022, pointing to its promising potential for the nation's future energy landscape.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1971 to 1984 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2019 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2020 to 2022 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2023 the data source is Ember.
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