3 Sources Leading American Electricity Output

The United States has moved towards energy independence in recent years, mostly through a boom in oil production in places like west Texas. Diversity among energy sources has also played a major role in this process.

Electricity is an example of innovation and diversification of resources in energy in the U.S. In 2018, three major energy categories drove the country’s electric output.

Fossil Fuels

A combination of natural gas, coal and several other sources were responsible for 2,651 billion kWh of electricity in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (USEIA). Overall, this accounted for 63.5 percent of total electricity generation for the year.


Worldwide, nuclear energy is responsible for approximately 10 percent of electricity production but last year in the U.S. it accounted for almost double that figure. USEIA reports that 19.3 percent of the country’s electricity comes from nuclear power.


A large emphasis has been put on renewable energy sources in recent years and that is reflected in its electricity output in 2018. Last year, 17.1 percent of American electricity was generated with renewable resources. This accounted for 713 billion kWh of electricity total. The three leading sources of renewable electricity in 2018 came from hydropower, wind and biomass.

There have never been more viable resources for electricity generation in the United States than there are today, and the 2018 data is an example of the balance among these sources. While fossil fuels still make up the majority of American electricity output, nuclear and renewable energy sources have proven to make an impact and should continue to do so.

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