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Net Generation of Electric Power

Description: 

Not all electricity that is generated in Arizona is used by Arizonans; much of it is exported to other states, particularly to markets in Southern California. Over one third of the energy generated in Arizona continues to be from coal (36.2% in 2012). Coal burning power plants are a source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. After rising at sharp rate for about ten years, and peaking in 2007 at 33.9%, the percent of energy produced from natural gas in Arizona has decreased since then, although in 2012 its production rebounded a bit. Natural gas-fired power stations burn cleaner and produce lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal-fired generators; however, natural gas is also a non-renewable energy source. Palo Verde Nuclear Power plant is the highest capacity nuclear plant in the United States and production has stayed steady, with 28.8% of the energy produced in Arizona in 2012 being from nuclear power. Renewable energy production is becoming more important in Arizona, but production has actually decreased since peaking at 15.4% of total energy generated in 1997. In 2011, renewable power production rose from the previous year to 9.0%, before dropping again in 2012 to 7.6%. Of note, however, is that over 20% of 2012 renewable energy production in Arizona came from renewable sources other than hydroelectric power. This was almost a four-fold increase from the previous year and is due to continued increases in energy generated by wind and solar power, as well as a decrease in hydroelectric production.

Data Source: 

Data were collected from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sprdshts.html, Net Generation by State by Type of Producer by Energy Source (EIA-906, EIA-920, and EIA-923).

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Visualization Notes:

Net generation of electric power in Arizona is staying stable. After a sharp decline in the percentage of the total energy generated from coal, it has stabilized at slightly over one third of the energy produced in Arizona. Electric energy produced by nuclear power had also been declining, but has stabilized over the past few years at just under 30 percent. In contrast, the production of electric energy generated from natural gas had been on a steady increase, but after peaking at almost 34% in 2007, it declined slightly and has fluctuated between twenty and thirty percent of the energy produced. This leaves just a small percentage of the energy generated in Arizona from renewable sources, but non-hydroelectric renewable power continues to increase, especially wind and solar power, as long term drought takes its toll on hydroelectric production.

Data Source

Data were collected from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sprdshts.html, Net Generation by State by Type of Producer by Energy Source (EIA-906, EIA-920, and EIA-923).