Natural Gas Power Generation Share Grew in Southern States for a Decade as Coal Declined

Coal’s share of total electricity generation in the South declined over the past decade, from 50% in 2006 to 29% in 2016. As the use of coal has declined, the use of natural gas has increased. In 2016, southern states used natural gas for 42% of their electricity generation, a bigger share than the U.S. average of 34%.

The mix of fuels used to generate electricity varies among southern states, but the overall mix is dominated by natural gas and coal. At the state level, natural gas made up as much as 89% of in-state electricity generation in Delaware to as little as 2% in West Virginia.

Competition between the fuels for electricity generation has resulted in U.S. net generation of electricity from natural gas surpassing coal for the first time in 2016. For the South as a whole, natural gas surpassed coal for electricity generation in 2012, 2015, and 2016…


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