According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the U.S. consumed a total of 4288.76 Terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in 2018, an increase of 46.88% from 1990 and 16% since 2008.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. received 28% of its electricity from coal, 34% from natural gas, 20% from nuclear power, 17% from renewables, and 1% from petroleum in 2018.
In the same year, the U.S. was a net importer of electricity having imported 38.26 TWh of electricity and exported a mere 13.8 TWh.
Most electricity policy in the United States is governed at the state level with little oversight from the federal government since the 2018 rollback of the Clean Power Plan. However, 30 states, three territories, and the capitol adopted renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that set specific requirements for what proportion of electricity sold by utilities must come from renewable energy sources. The National Conference of State Legislatures attributes roughly half of the growth in U.S. renewable energy generation since 2000 to state-level renewable energy requirements.
To accelerate the appreciation of renewable energy, state and federal requirements for renewable energy generation should be increased and subsidies for fossil fuels ought to be phased out. Strong federal policy can support an energy transition that both growth the U.S. economy through creating green jobs and reducing emissions from electricity generation.
Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
William Jefferson Clinton Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Mail Code: 1101A
Washington, DC 20460
This post was submitted by US Country Manager Stephanie Gagnon.