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How is Your Electricity Generated? Mapping the US Energy Sources


For many of us, our electricity comes to us through power lines on the street. However, where that journey started is often a mystery. The Washington Post recently released an excellent interactive map, plotting the nation’s many different power plants and their location around the US.

Coal and natural gas (shown in grey and orange) easily dominate the electricity generation sector:


While coal and natural gas are currently the most common sources of electricity in the nation, coal will probably be seeing a major decline in the coming years. The new Clean Power Plan sets a goal of reducing carbon pollution from power plants an average of 32% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. When you consider that the energy generation sector produces 31% of the nations greenhouse gas emissions, that’s a significant cut to pollution.

The Clean Power Plan largely targets carbon dirty coal-powered plants, and that means big changes for states like West Virginia, which generate most of their electricity from coal. Learn more, and see the full interactive, at the Washington Post.

This graph, showing the share of electricity from each power source, reveals the dominance of coal in many states: