Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania leading the charge away from coal

The General James M. Gavin plant on the Ohio River

Massive, global energy changes taking place

If one thing is constant in the world of energy these days, it is certainly change. That may be a cliche, but, regardless, it is true.

In fact, it’s so true that I’ll say it again: The one constant is energy right now is change.

Countries around the world are moving away from dirty coal as an energy source and transitioning into a variety of other energy sources — from natural gas, to solar, to wind, to hydropower … and the list goes on and on.

And not only are energy sources around the globe in the midst of a massive transformation as I write this and as you read this, but the specifics of those sources differ by location and are constantly evolving as technology grows in leaps and bounds.

See also: Top five things to know about solar energy & solar power in May 2016

For example, solar power may appear in the form of a massive solar farm of photovoltaic (PV) cells out in the desert in Africa, while in parts of Europe, floating solar arrays are being built out of new hybrid solar cell technology. Scientists are working on transparent solar cell technology, solar cells that generate a current from infrared, and more — and that’s just one energy source, solar.

Coal use continues to decrease every year in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), consumption of coal for use as an electricity generation source in the U.S. has dropped 29 percent from 2007 through 2015. Peak coal use was in 2007 at 1,045 million short tons (MMst), but that figure dropped by nearly 30 percent to 739 MMst last year.

Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania see largest decreases

While coal consumption as an electricity source dropped in almost every state from 2007 to 2015 — Nebraska and Alaska were the only exceptions — Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania saw the largest decreases. Coal use in the electric power sector dropped 49 percent in Ohio, 44 percent in Pennsylvania, and 37 percent in Indiana during that time period.

In the Southeast, coal consumption also saw marked decreases from 2007 through the end of 2015, most notably in Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama. Georgia (53 percent decrease) and North Carolina (51 percent decrease) actually saw larger percentage drops in coal usage than Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania but those latter three states had larger drops volume-wise.

Source → EIA
Photo Credit: Photo by Analogue Kid / CC BY 2.0