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2017 Electricity Generation

It is easy to take for granted light that comes on at the flip of a switch because in general Colorado and the rest of the United States have extremely reliable electricity systems. But electricity generation at the scale demanded by homes, businesses, and industries requires vast resources and highly sophisticated infrastructure. (The electricity consumed worldwide is enough to power over 2 billion average Colorado homes.) The U.S. Energy Information Administration has collected data for both U.S. and Colorado electricity generation.

Pie Graph of 2017 U.S. Energy Production by sourcePie Graph of 2017 Colorado Energy Production by source

Trends In Electricity Generation

Taking a look back over the longer term, we can see trends emerge in both national and state electricity fuel mixes. The country as a whole has moved from generating over half of its electricity from coal in 2000 to our current mix wherein natural gas (32%) generates more electricity than coal (30%). While nuclear and hydropower have remained very steady, non-hydro renewables such as wind, biomass, and solar have grown from 2% of generation in 2000 to 10% of generation today.

Bar Graph of 2017 U.S. Energy Production by source

For Colorado, those trends have been similar although coal still predominates generation and non-hydro renewables have grown to become a much higher percentage of our fuel mix compared to the U.S. as a whole.

Bar Graph of 2017 Colorado Energy Production by source

Last updated: March 26, 2018 at 11:55 am