Gas produced 42% of U.S. electric generating capacity in 2016 🔓

In 2016, natural gas-fired generators produced 42% of the operating electricity generating capacity in the U.S., according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

Natural gas provided 34% of total electric generation in 2016, surpassing coal to become the top generation source, Kallanish Energy learns.

The increase in natural gas generation since 2005 is primarily a result of the continued cost-competitiveness of natural gas relative to coal, EIA said.

Natural gas-fired, combined-cycle units accounted for 53% of the 449,000 megawatts of total U.S. natural gas-powered generator capacity in 2016, according to EIA.

The capacity-weighted average age of U.S. natural gas power plants is 22 years, which is younger than hydro (64 years), coal (39 years) and nuclear (36 years), the agency said.

EIA said every state except Vermont has at least one gas-fired plant. The four states with a combined 38% of U.S. capacity are Texas, California, Florida and New York. Natural gas accounts for more than 50% of total electric generation is those four states plus seven other states, EIA stated.