North America’s Biggest Sources Of Electricity By State And Province

On a national scale, the US and Canada depend on a really different makeup of sources to generate their electricity.

The U.S. primarily uses natural gas, coal, and nuclear power, while Canada relies on each hydro and nuclear. That said, when zooming in on the province or state level, individual primary electricity sources can differ greatly.

Within the infographic below, Visual Capitalist’s Selin O?uz takes a have a look at the electricity generation within the states and provinces of those two countries using data from the Nuclear Energy Institute (2021) and the Canada Energy Regulator (2019).

Natural Gas

Natural gas is widely used for electricity generation in the US. Often known as a “cleaner” fossil fuel, its abundance, coupled with a longtime national distribution network and comparatively low price, makes it the leading electricity source within the country.

In 2021, 38% of the 4120 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity generated within the U.S. got here from natural gas. Not surprisingly, greater than 40% of American states have natural gas as their biggest electricity source.

Listed here are some states which have the biggest shares of natural gas-sourced electricity.

In Canada, natural gas is just the third-biggest electricity source (behind hydro and nuclear), accounting for 11% of the 632 TWh of electricity produced in 2019. Alberta is the one province with natural gas as its fundamental source of electricity.


Nuclear power is a carbon-free energy source that makes up a substantial share of the energy generated in each the U.S. and Canada.

19% of America’s and 15% of Canada’s electricity comes from nuclear power. While the odds are close to at least one one other, it’s good to notice that the US generates 6 to 7 times more electricity than Canada annually, yielding quite a bit more nuclear power than Canada when it comes to gigawatt hours (GWh) per yr.

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As seen within the map, many states and provinces with nuclear as their fundamental source of electricity are concentrated within the eastern half of the 2 countries.

Within the U.S., Illinois, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina are top producers when it comes to GWh/yr. Illinois and South Carolina even have nuclear as their primary electricity source, whereas Pennsylvania’s electricity production from natural gas exceeds that from nuclear.

The overwhelming majority of Canada’s nuclear reactors (18 of 19) are in Ontario, with the nineteenth in Recent Brunswick. Each of those provinces depend on nuclear as their biggest source of electricity.

Renewables: Hydro, Wind and Solar

Out of the different sorts of renewable electricity sources, hydro is essentially the most prevalent in North America. For instance, 60% of Canada’s and 6% of the U.S.’s electricity comes from hydropower.

Listed here are the states and provinces which have hydro as their biggest source of electricity.

Wind and solar energy collectively comprise a small percentage of total electricity generated in each countries. While no state or province relies on solar as its biggest source of electricity, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota rely totally on wind for his or her electricity, together with Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Coal and Oil

Coal and oil are emission-heavy electricity sources still prevalent in North America.

Currently, 22% of America’s and seven% of Canada’s electricity comes from coal, with places equivalent to Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia still counting on coal as their biggest sources of electricity.

Certain regions also use petroleum to generate their electricity. Although its use for this purpose is declining, it remains to be the most important source of electricity in each Hawaii and Nunavut.

Over the subsequent few years, it would be interesting to watch the usage of these fossil fuels for electricity generation within the U.S. and Canada. Despite the differences in climate commitments between the 2 countries, lowering coal and oil-related emissions could also be a critical a part of hitting decarbonization targets in a timely manner.


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