2023 US electricity production

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published the final US electricity generation data for 2023.

From largest to smallest…
2023 US electricity

                 GWh     Percent of Total
Natural Gas   1,802,062       42.4%
Nuclear         775,347       18.2
Coal            675,264       15.9
Wind            425,235       10.0
Hydro           239,855        5.6
Large Solar     164,502        3.9
Small Solar      73,619        1.7
Other Renew      63,926        1.5
Petroleum        16,472        0.4
Other            15,509        0.4

Numbers from Here and Here. Other Renewables consists of things like wood, geothermal, landfill gas and waste.

Below are some additional observations…
Electricity generation from natural gas is again at an all-time high. 2023 was 7% higher than 2022. Natural gas remains the largest source of power generation in the US, by a wide margin. I figure the extra CO2 emissions from burning that gas produced an extra 45 million metric tonnes of CO2. However, electricity from coal continues to decline, and was down 19% in 2023, which saved about 150 million tonnes of CO2. Overall, including petroleum and some miscellaneous sources, I figure CO2 emissions in the electricity sector were down about 105 million tonnes in 2023, compared to 2022. We will know more next month, when the final CO2 numbers for the electricity sector are published by EIA.

Electricity generation from large scale renewables was down in 2023 compared to 2022. Production from utility scale renewables decreased almost 1 percent over 2022. If small scale solar is included, then renewable generation was up slightly, with a 0.5% increase. Production from solar power was up 16% over 2022, but wind power was down 2%, solar thermal was down 5%, and conventional hydro was down 6%.

Solar PV capacity factor (CF) was 23.3% in 2023, which the lowest CF that I can find in the EIA records for solar PV. Wind power CF was 33.5%, which is also low compared to recent years. I guess the sun just didn’t shine as much on the US, and the wind didn’t blow as much as usual last year. (Nuclear power CF was a very good 93.1% in 2023, if anyone cares.)

  • Pete

Renewable generated electricty (22.7%) is greater than nuclear generated electricity (18.2%). And based on 2024 new capacity slated to be added to the grid, renewables will continue to grow faster than nuclear.


I find it curious how the pro-renewables people hate nuclear power so much more than they dislike the rising CO2 air concentration. The burning of fossil fuels for electric power created 1.4 billion metric tons of CO2 last year in the US, but the most important thing is that renewables are beating nuclear!

  • Pete

That is not a real choice. The actual problem is the resistance to renewables. There are limited resources. Nukes have all sorts of problems and cost much more.

I want a deflationary energy policy.

That said for electricity-intensive major industrial plants I support onsite small nuclear generators.

The ambitious baseload stuff comes with a much higher cost. That much concrete is not zero CO2…as is pointed out every time renewables are brought up. LOL How to store the nuclear waste is a problem. People debate if the reactor site puts off radiation but I side with those who say it does. Which scares me about those who deny that. So why trust them?

You misunderstand pro-renewables people. They see that nuclear power has been a failure at production of electricity that is cheap and timely and does not have all the added disadvantages of generating toxic radioactive waste and normal releases of radioactive materials. Solar and wind power are several times cheaper and less dangerous than nuclear power. Solar and wind power are reducing coal power and natural gas power. Hydrogen will reduce natural gas power.

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The Green party in Germany PICKED coal over existing nuclear! It’s really kind of absurd.

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There is an enormous amount of confusion with the German Green party and people in general who are concerned about climate change.

The German Green party isn’t small, but it isn’t particularly large and typically wins about 10-20% of seats. That 10-20% is enough become part of a coalition government and dictate a single-issue agenda.

This not unique to Germany. Prohibition never had popular support in the United States but it attracted many single-issue voters who would only for prohibition candidates, and that 10-20% was enough to swing elections on the margins. It is not hard to think of similar issues in the US today, like gun control or abortion.

In Germany, just like the United States, there is popular support for nuclear power. Even among the German Green party there is surprisingly strong support for nuclear power. It is a very small number of people who are passionate about one issue who are driving the agenda. Again, not unique to Germany. If you’ve ever been to an HOA meeting you know what I’m talking about.

The main opponent of nuclear power is indeed the greens. But it isn’t the Green Party. It is the people with green eyeshades and adding machines. Nuclear, even existing nuclear in many cases, just doesn’t pencil out.

If we go back to the statement you responded to:

Specifically, who are the pro-renewables people?

In the United States the Democrats are primarily concerned about climate change and the Republicans generally aren’t. So it is fair to say the Democrats are the pro-renewables people. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, provided some whopping incentives for new nuclear, including a 30% tax credit for new nuclear, a 10% tax credit for building in an “existing energy” community, and another for 10% majority domestic content, for a total tax credit of 50%. And they get another tax credit if they produce hydrogen.

There is also the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provides $6 billion in subsidies in order to keep existing nuclear plants open and running.

That is an enormous amount of monetary support from pro-renewables people who “hate nuclear so much.” If “hate” means showering the nuclear industry with money, I wonder what mild distaste would look like?

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A couple of facts:

  1. Germans do not like nuclear reactors contaminating their country.

  2. USA is picking natural gas, solar and wind over nuclear. The Republican party should be called the Fossil Fuel party for many reasons.

I am not sure your information is that solid. In early 2023 the polls in Germany showed:

About two thirds of Germans are against the country’s imminent shutdown of the remaining three nuclear power plants, a survey by opinion research institute YouGov commissioned by the news agency dpa found. Germany’s remaining nuclear power plants are set to be shut down on 15 April, having been granted a three-and-a-half-month runtime extension to ensure security of supply during winter. However, 32 percent of those surveyed were in favour of the remaining reactors continuing to run for a limited period, and an additional 33 percent were in favour of an unlimited runtime extension. Only 26 percent fully support a complete phase-out nuclear power at this point in time.


But now that the 3 last reactors have been shutdown permanently - will Germans want new nuclear power plants. My guess is that most (>60%) Germans do not want new nuclear power plants.

I’m confident it is solid. From the first sentence in your link:

About two thirds of Germans are against the country’s imminent shutdown of the remaining three nuclear power plants

The article goes onto say only 56% Greens are in favor.

As I mentioned, we have similar situations in the United States where a small number of single-issue voters control the agenda. For example, there has been popular support for gun control in the US for decades but the legislation has been moving in the opposite direction.

The current administration is providing far, far more support for nuclear than the previous administration, and the administration before that provided extremely generous subsidies as well. The need for carbon free power is well understood and well supported by decision makers who are concerned about climate change in the United States.

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That survey was done over a year ago before the closure of the last nuclear power plant. It does not represent German attitudes currently after the clossure of the last nuclear power plant. I still believe that most Germans do not want to invest in new nucllear power plants.

At the end of the day the French will have the most expensive electricity in Europe because of their investments in nuclear energy.

It may not show up if the government subsidizes it.

The latest monthly report also included the full-year electricity pricing statistics for 2023. The residential, commercial, industrial and transportation electricity prices for each state are shown in the link below.

A few observations …
The national average residential price for 2023 was 15.98 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). This is a 6% increase over 2022.

The highest electricity prices are in New England, California, and Hawaii. Hawaii is a special case, as it generates most of its electricity from fuel oil, which needs to be imported from elsewhere. IMO, the high prices in New England and California have a lot to do with the energy policies in those states.

Some selected states…

Residential prices (cents/kwh)   
                 2022     2023   % Change
Massachusetts   25.97    29.40    +13.2%    
Connecticut     24.61    29.86    +21.3
New York        22.08    22.25     +0.8         
Georgia         13.80    13.73     -0.5
Florida         13.90    15.24     +9.6
Illinois        15.65    15.82     +1.1
Texas           13.76    14.32     +4.1
California      25.84    28.92    +11.9
Hawaii          43.03    42.36     -1.5
US Avg          15.04    15.98     +6.2 

If you don’t see your state on the list, you can click on the link above, if you are interested.

I included Georgia in the list because the Vogtle 3 nuclear power plant went into commercial service last July, and the construction costs are now included in the rate base. The residential price of electricity in Georgia actually declined slightly in 2023, so the ratepayers statewide are not yet being significantly affected by the Vogtle construction. Now that Vogtle 4 is producing power (as of March 1), it will most likely go into the rate base this year.

  • Pete

What is listed in CT is not what is paid.

I do not go with the Eversource prices. The current Eversource price is not that high. Somewhere around $0.13 to 0.14 last I knew.

I am paying $0.1299 from a supplier like most people in CT. I am about to change suppliers. In CT there is no cancelation fee by law when you change suppliers.

Your information is from the prior winter 2022 - 2023.

No. The information is for year-to-date December of 2023.

Here are the prices for just December 2023.

Connecticut: 26.86 cents/kwh

  • Pete

Wow; I’m in NH and I have never paid even close to the number they have posted for the average in Dec 2023 of 28.31 cents! My last bill for Feb 2024 was at 9.4 cents and this was down from 12+ cents in January. These rates are for 50% renewable energy. In Dec and prior I was paying approx 16 cents for 100% renewable. Somebody in the state is paying an awful lot for electricity.


Here in California, the utility divides the electric portion of the bill into Generation and Distribution. Each have their own rate, which are then added together for a total. Are you sure you are not looking at just the generation charges, for instance?

What I do: Take the total electric portion of the bill and divide by the kwh used each month, to get the net price for electricity I used. This accounts for all taxes, extra fees and adjustments.

  • Pete

I am embarrassed to say you are correct. We have a delivery charge and without using any electricity I’m paying $13.81/month!

My apologies for my earlier irritating response. If I had a wet noodle I would appropriately lash myself with it!


Click to enlarge

Yes but January is when the rates came down in CT.