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EIA: Gas supplied 40% of U.S. electricity in 2020, renewables topped coal for first time

March 04, 2021

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

Natural gas provided the largest single share of U.S. power generation for the year 2020, supplying two-fifths of the total.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest “Electric Power Monthly,” released Feb. 24 and containing data for all of 2020, utility-scale generation net of hydroelectric pumped storage declined 2.9%, to 4.01 billion MWh, for full year 2020, with natural gas supplying 40.3% of the nation’s power. Nuclear, coal and renewable generation contributed a share of nearly 20% each.

Full-year 2020 gas-fired generation climbed 2.0% year over year, to 1.62 billion MWh. Coal-fired generation declined 19.8% to 773.8 million MWh, and nuclear fell by 2.4% to 789.9 million MWh.

Renewable generation rose 8.8% versus the prior year to 792.5 million MWh, as [the] majority of renewable resources recorded increases. Solar and wind jumped by 26.3% and 14.1%, respectively, with solar up to 90.9 million MWh.

For the month of December 2020, utility-scale generation increased 1.9% year over year, to 345.3 million MWh. Gas-fired generation declined 4.7% compared to the prior-year period, to 125.7 million MWh, and nuclear generation slid 4.4%, to 69.9 million MWh. Coal-fired generation increased 8.4%, to 78.7 million MWh, and renewable output climbed 16.5% year over year, to 67.3 million MWh, with the largest percentage growth in solar resources.

[Krizka Danielle Del Rosario]

More ($): Natural gas supplies 40% of US power generation in 2020

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