Power Sources

America's Electricity Generating Capacity

Our annual report on electricity generation capacity in the United States breaks down the current and imminent generation of electricity by type of fuel, location, and ownership type. The report also looks at retirements and planned retirements and cancellations over the past eight years.

As of March 2018, America has just under 1.2 million megawatts of generation capacity. The largest fuel source for this capacity is natural gas (43%), followed by coal (23%). Nuclear, hydro, and wind together account for nearly one-quarter of capacity. Solar currently constitutes 2.6 percent of all capacity.

This report also analyzes prospective generation capacity in four categories — under construction, permitted, application pending, and proposed. Natural gas, solar, and wind projects account for 92 percent of all capacity under construction, and would bring 44,844 MW online. Most of the capacity currently under construction or permitted to begin construction will be fueled by natural gas. Solar and wind together account for nearly one-third of near-term potential capacity additions. Few coal plants are slated to come online in future years, with a total of 2,559 MW permitted or under construction, yet the past year saw 11,417 MW of coal-fired capacity proposed.

Regionally, the Southeast currently has the most generation, with 25 percent of the nation’s total capacity, however the Western region is slated to add the most generation in the long-term.

Download the report.