Natural gas energy era share grew in Southern states for a decade as spark declined

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

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The brew of fuels used to beget electricity varies among southern states, though a altogether brew is dominated by healthy gas and coal. At a state level, healthy gas done adult as many as 89% of in-state electricity era in Delaware to as small as 2% in West Virginia.

Competition between a fuels for electricity era has resulted in U.S. net era of electricity from natural gas leading coal for a initial time in 2016. For a South as a whole, healthy gas surpassed spark for electricity era in 2012, 2015, and 2016.

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Within a South, a share of healthy gas used for electric era in a West South Central census division—which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas—has been incomparable than a share of spark for some-more than a decade. In a East South Central division, that includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, coal-fired electricity era stays aloft than healthy gas-fired generation, nonetheless a disproportion has narrowed. In a South Atlantic division, that includes West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware and extends along a Atlantic Ocean to Florida, healthy gas initial surpassed spark used for electricity era in 2015.

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Most Southern states that use spark for a largest share of their electricity era are partial of a Northern or Central Appalachian basins, dual of 5 major coal mining regions in a United States. West Virginia and Kentucky are among a tip 5 spark mining states, and both states use spark for many of their electricity generation—94% and 83%, respectively. Tennessee, Arkansas, and Maryland also used some-more spark (37%–39%) than a inhabitant normal of 30% in 2016.

More coal-fired generating units were late in a South between 2006 and 2016 than units fueled by any other fuel type, with 20.8 gigawatts (GW) of ability taken offline during that period. Although 9.6 GW of spark ability was combined between 2007 and 2013, no spark units have been commissioned given 2013. New commissioned ability in a segment came essentially from healthy gas and wind, with an additional 47.0 GW and 25.6 GW installed, respectively, between 2006 and 2017.

Illustration by U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Wind additions in a South have been strong in Texas and Oklahoma, that ranked initial and third nationally for total installed breeze capacity as of September 2017. Texas and Oklahoma are in a segment with some of a country’s best breeze resources.

The South is home to both a newest chief energy generator (Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee) and a usually new chief plant still underneath construction (the Vogtle plant in Georgia). Earlier this year, construction of the V.C. Summer chief energy plant in South Carolina was canceled.

Source: EIA

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