Coal’s share of total electricity generation in the South declined over the past decade, from 50 percent in 2006 to 29 percent in 2016, according to this new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As the use of coal has declined, the use of natural gas has increased. In 2016, southern states used natural gas for 42 percent of their electricity generation, a bigger share than the U.S. average of 34 percent.
The mix of fuels used to generate electricity varies among southern states, but the overall mix is dominated by natural gas and coal. At the state level, natural gas made up as much as 89 percent of in-state electricity generation in Delaware to as little as 2 percent in West Virginia.