The US primary energy mix is dominated by fossil fuels, with oil contributing 37% (mostly used in the transport sector), natural gas 30%, and coal 15% in 2017. Nuclear energy accounts for 10%, while renewable energy makes up less than 8%. The pace of renewable energy deployment in the US has lagged behind others such as the European Union, as retiring coal capacity has largely been replaced by natural gas and regulatory rollbacks have supported fossil fuels.
Coal and natural gas contributed roughly equal shares to electricity generation, about 31% each in 2017. Nuclear (20%) and renewable energy (17%) made up the bulk of remaining generation.
While there are existing policy gaps in the energy sector, newly elected President Biden has presented ambitious energy sector reforms including the goal to achieve a “100% clean energy economy” by 2050. Biden’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan also includes a target to achieve a carbon-free power sector by 2035.