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Electricity in United States in 2023

Global Ranking: #14
40.4% #83 Low-carbon electricity
41.48 % #70 Electrification
1451.90 watts #10 Generation / person
356.86 gCO2eq/kWh #85 Carbon Intensity

During 2023, a significant portion of the United States' electricity consumption hinged on fossil fuels, with nearly 60% of it drawn from this source. To break down the fossil fuels even further, gas made up for over 40% of the total energy usage and coal's contribution was close to 17%. In contrast, low-carbon energy, which includes nuclear, wind, solar and hydropower, among others, accounted for just over 40%. The largest share within this group was held by nuclear energy at around 18%, followed by wind and solar energy, which sat close to 10% and 5% respectively. As a snapshot of the country's energy consumption, more than half of all energy consumed was derived from fossil fuels while less than half was generated from low-carbon sources.

Suggestions

In order to increase low-carbon electricity generation, the United States can follow the path of several countries that have successfully incorporated low-carbon energy on a grand scale. For instance, France generates two-thirds of its electricity from nuclear energy, showcasing the potential of this clean energy option when supported on a national scale. Similarly, Slovakia and Ukraine also heavily rely on nuclear technology, generating more than 60% of their electricity from this source. Moreover, wind energy in Denmark covers almost 60% of their electricity demand. By learning from these examples, the United States could significantly enhance the contribution of nuclear and wind energy in their national electricity production, thus helping the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy alternatives.

History

From 1975 onward, there have been notable fluctuations in the United States' low-carbon electricity generation. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was a surge in both nuclear and hydro-power generation, with nuclear energy production increasing by over 60 TWh in 1975 and hydropower witnessing a similar upswing in 1978. This progress continued into late 80s, with nuclear energy output climbing by approximately 75.5 TWh in 1988. However, the beginning of the 21st century has not been as positive for low-carbon energy in the United States. While wind power generation saw an increase of about 56 TWh in 2022, nuclear energy's contribution to national electricity production steeply fell by close to 54 TWh in 2020. This marked decrease in nuclear power production is concerning and underlines the need for revised strategic planning to enhance the role of low-carbon alternatives in the United States' energy sector.

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 IEA.
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