Electricity and Gas for the World!

Electricity has become a fundamental fact of life since the invention of the electric light bulb by Thomas Alva Edison over 100 years ago. It is such an integral part of life that most people probably give it little thought during their busy days, but it is important to know and understand where our electricity, which we are so dependent upon, comes from.

There are many possible sources for the production of electricity. Electric power plants can produce electricity using coal, oil, or nuclear fuel. They can also be powered with renewable sources like energy from wind, solar panels, or hydroelectric dams.

In the US, as of 2010, the vast majority of electricity was produced using fossil fuels, about 70%, with about 24% from natural gas and 45% from coal. Nuclear power contributes about 19% while 6% comes from hydroelectric power sources. Wind produces about 2% of the country’s electricity, and biomass, solar and other renewable sources are negligible.

In New York State, where IDT Energy brings to consumers electricity and natural gas, the percentages are as follows as of 2008 statistics:

Coal produces about 14% or New York’s electricity, while natural gas generates about 28%, a significant amount less than the amount of fossil fuels used to produce electricity in the US as a whole. New York makes up the difference by getting more of its electricity form nuclear and especially hydroelectric sources, with about 31% from nuclear power and 18% from hydroelectric dams. Just as in the rest of the country renewable sources of electricity make up a tiny percentage of the total generation of electricity with about 2% from biomass and less than 1% coming from wind and solar at almost zero.

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