United States

Coal decline offset by expansion in fossil gas

The United States of America saw coal generation fall by over a third between 2015 and 2021. However, total fossil generation fell by only 8% as gas generation expanded in the same period. Wind and solar have shown strong recent growth, generating 13% of electricity in 2021, above the global average.

The US has lagged on energy transition compared to other advanced economies, with 60% of electricity still from fossil fuels. Per capita, it is still among the worst coal power emitters, ahead of China.

President Biden has committed to 100% clean power by 2035, which would put the country on track for a 1.5C compliant pathway according to the IEA. However, this will depend on ambitious action in the near-term, such as phasing out coal and delivering on the administration’s target for 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

Last updated: March 2022

Progress towards clean power targets
United States