This map reflects the statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration from 2019. It reveals the two most common sources of electricity in each state, in proportion to each other. The three most common sources across the United States are coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. Some other major sources of electricity include wind, oil, solar, and hydropower.
In the United States, coal is primarily used in states in between the coasts. In fact, Texas is the only state that borders the ocean, where coal is one of the two most common sources of electricity. Nearly all the electricity in West Virginia and Wyoming is created by coal power. It is no coincidence that they are also the two states that produce the most coal.
Natural gas is the most common source of electricity in the United States. In general, states far away from the coast use natural gas less. It is not as often used in the Great Plains region. Rhode Island and Delaware are the two states that get the highest percentage of their electricity from natural gas power.
Nuclear power generation is concentrated in the Eastern half of the United States, especially in states along the Atlantic Coast. These states tend to have high population densities. With the exception of Pennsylvania, they also do not produce a lot of fossil fuels. New Hampshire and South Carolina are the two states that rely on Nuclear power the most.
In general, the states along the Pacific Coast create a lot of their electricity from hydropower. With the exception of South Dakota, the states that rely on hydropower the most are quite mountainous. The northwestern states of Washington and Idaho are two states where the majority of electricity comes from hydropower.
Wind power is concentrated in the Great Plains region. It is one of the windiest areas of the country, since it is not very mountainous and has few trees to provide friction. A few states in New England also create a significant amount of wind power. The states that rely on wind power the most are Kansas and Iowa.
Hawaii is the only state where oil power is a major source of electricity. In fact, it is the state’s primary source. This has made energy costs in Hawaii the highest in the country. Islands often rely on petroleum when they don’t have their own energy sources, because it is easily transported. Nevada is the only state where solar power is the second biggest source of electricity. It is the third sunniest state and has a low population density, so there is plenty of empty space to locate solar panels.