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Visualizing the Scale of Global Fossil Fuel Production

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Map: Largest Power Sources by State and Province

On a national scale, the United States and Canada rely on very different mixes of power sources to generate electricity.

The United States primarily uses natural gas, coal and nuclear power, while Canada relies on both hydro and nuclear power. That said, when zoomed in at the state or state level, individual primary sources can vary greatly.

Below are the state and local electricity generation for these two countries: Nuclear research institute (2021) and Canadian energy regulator (2019).

Natural gas

Natural gas Widely used for power generation in the United States. Known as a “cleaner” fossil fuel, its abundance, combined with an established nationwide grid and relatively low cost, make it the country’s primary source of electricity.

In 2021, 4120 terawatt hours (TWh) The amount of electricity generated in the United States that comes from natural gas. Not surprisingly, more than 40% of US states have natural gas as their primary source of electricity.

Below are some of the states with the highest share of electricity powered by natural gas.

prefectures Percentage of electricity from natural gas
🇺🇸 Rhode Island 90.9
🇺🇸 Delaware 85.8
🇺🇸 Massachusetts 76.9
🇺🇸 Florida 73.9
🇺🇸 Mississippi 72.1

In Canada, natural gas is only the third largest source of electricity (after hydro and nuclear). 11% of 632TWh Percentage of electricity produced in 2019. Alberta is the only province that uses natural gas as its primary source of electricity.

nuclear power

nuclear power is a carbon-free energy source that accounts for a significant portion of the energy generated in both the United States and Canada.

19% of America’s electricity and 15% of Canada’s electricity comes from nuclear power. Although the percentages are close to each other, note that the U.S. produces 6-7 times more electricity than Canada’s hers each year and significantly more nuclear power than Canada in gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. .

As can be seen on the map, many states and provinces using nuclear power as their primary source of electricity are concentrated in the eastern half of the two countries.

In the US, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina are the top producers by GWh/year. Illinois and South Carolina also use nuclear power as their primary source of electricity, but Pennsylvania’s electricity production from natural gas surpasses that from nuclear power.

The majority of Canada’s reactors (18 of 19) are in Ontario, with the 19th in New Brunswick. Both of these states rely on nuclear power as their primary source of electricity.

Renewable Energy: Hydro, Wind, Solar

Of the various types of renewable power sources, hydropower is the most prevalent in North America. For example, 60% of Canada’s electricity and 6% of US electricity comes from hydroelectricity.

Below are the states and provinces with hydropower as the largest source of electricity.

prefectures Proportion of hydropower
🇨🇦Manitoba 97
🇨🇦 Newfoundland and Labrador 95
🇨🇦 Quebec 94
🇨🇦British Columbia 87
🇨🇦 Yukon 80
🇺🇸Washington 65
🇺🇸 Idaho 51
🇺🇸 Vermont 50
🇨🇦 Northwest Territories 47
🇺🇸 Oregon 46

Wind and solar power account for a small percentage of the total electricity generated in both countries. While no state or state relies on solar power for its largest source of electricity, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, along with Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI), rely primarily on wind for electricity. depends on

coal and oil

Coal and oil remain the predominant sources of high-emission electricity in North America.

Currently, 22% of America’s electricity and 7% of Canada’s electricity comes from coal, and states such as Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia still rely on coal as their largest source of electricity. .

Certain regions use petroleum to generate electricity. Although its use for this purpose is declining, it is still the largest source of electricity in both Hawaii and Nunavut.

It will be interesting to observe the use of these fossil fuels for power generation in the United States and Canada over the next few years. Despite the difference in Commitment to climate Reducing coal- and oil-related emissions can be an important part of meeting decarbonization goals in a timely manner.

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