How much coal, natural gas, or
petroleum is used to

generate a kilowatt-hour of electricity?

  • The yearly average amounts of coal, natural gas, and petroleum fuels used by U.S. electric utilities and independent power providers to create a kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in 2021 were:

    1. 1.12 pounds (0.51 kg)/kWh for coal
    2. 7.36 cubic feet (0.21 m³)/kWh for natural gas
    3. 0.8 gallons (3.64 l) of petroleum liquids per kWh
    4. Crude oil coke, 0.82 pounds (0.37 kg) per kWh

  • The average yearly number of kWh produced per unit of coal, natural gas, and petroleum fuels used by American electric utilities and independent power providers to generate electricity in 2021 was:

    1. KWh/pound of coal
    2. KWh per cubic foot of natural gas
    3. 12.69 kWh/gallon for petroleum liquids
    4. 1.21 kWh/pound for petroleum coke

The aforementioned figures were calculated using data from the Electric Power Annual, published in November 2022, as well as the simple averages of annual data collected at the national level for electric utilities and independent power providers. While excluding electricity produced in the commercial and industrial sectors, they represent the annual average amounts for the majority of the electricity that is produced for sale in the United States. The fuel consumption data utilized for the aforementioned quantities do not include fuel used for combined heat and power plant useable thermal output.

The actual figures for a particular generator or power plant could be very different from those shown above. Depending on the generators (or power plant's) efficiency or heat rate as well as the fuel's heat content, different amounts of fuel are consumed to produce different amounts of electricity. The types of generators (primary movers), fuel types and heat contents, power plant emission controls, and other elements all affect the efficiency (heat rates) of a power plant.

The amount of fuel required to produce one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity can be calculated using one of two formulas


  1. Fuel consumption per kWh is the heat rate (measured in British thermal units [Btu] per kWh) divided by the heat content of the fuel (in Btu per physical unit)
  2. Fuel heat content (measured in Btu per physical unit) divided by heat rate produces the number of kilowatt-hours per unit of fuel burned (in Btu per kWh)

For those computations, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) provided the following data sources


  1. EIA releases monthly and annual data on the quantity of electricity produced and related fuel usage by electricity producers at the federal, state, and plant levels. Using this information, one can also determine the fuel consumption per kWh of electricity produced and/or the kWh produced per unit of fuel utilized.

FAQ

  • 1. A light bulb requires how much coal to operate?

    Answer: For one year, a 100-watt light bulb requires 800 pounds of coal to provide the necessary electricity.

  • 2.What is the planet Earth's main energy source?

    Answer: The Sun.

  • 3. What is the world's biggest source of energy?

    Answer:Today, oil is the most common energy source in the globe. In particular, it is the main energy source for the transportation industry.

  • 4. To produce 1 MWh, how much coal is needed?

    Answer: A hot tub can be filled with the 1,100 pounds (0.5 ton) of coal needed to produce 1 MWh of power. Let's consider the effects of this coal on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, physical wastes, land utilized for mining, and water used to cool power plants.

  • 5. What volume of coal is required to charge a Tesla?

    Answer: The equation alters if the petrol guzzler is replaced with an EV that consumes electrons. For a Tesla Model S to go the same distance, it would take around 2,500 cubic feet (ca. 71 m³) of natural gas, 286 pounds (0.13 ton) of coal, or 33 minutes for a massive offshore wind turbine to rotate its blades.

  • 6. How much diesel is required to generate 1 kWh?

    Answer: A diesel generator will typically consume 0.4 L of diesel for every kWh produced. Internal combustion is essentially what the diesel engine is. Unlike a petrol engine, the diesel engine burns the fuel that has been injected into the injection chamber by using the heat of compression.

  • 7. How much coal does a power plant burn each day?

    Answer:coal for the production of electricity. 52% of the electricity in the UK is produced from coal. Water is heated to 540 degrees Celsius in a typical coal-fired power plant, like the one in this image, to create high-pressure steam. The plant burns 14,000 tons of coal every day to generate 109 kWh of electricity per year.

  • 8. Why don't we employ sources of renewable energy?

    Answer:Infrastructure and pricing are the deciding factors. The economic and logistical challenges associated with renewable energy are ultimately the major obstacles to its development. Renewable energy sources will become increasingly popular and widely used once the infrastructure supporting them expands.

  • 9. A liter of oil equals how many kWh?

    Answer:The formula for converting oil and natural gas amounts to kWh is as follows: Oil liters multiplied by 10.6 to get kWh, and natural gas terms multiplied by 29.31 to get kWh.

  • 10. How many kilowatts of electricity are needed to refine one gallon of petrol?

    Answer:The LHV of a barrel of oil equivalent is around 35.6 kWh/gal, which is extremely close to the LHV of a normal gallon of petrol, which is 35.3 kWh/gal. Thus, the real electrical energy use is around 0.8 kWh/gallon when 15% x 15% x 35.6 kWh/gal are multiplied.

  • 11.What is the carbon content of a kWh?

    Answer:We use the UK average emissions from energy sources of 0.818 lbs. CO2e per kWh to calculate emissions from electricity generation using the EPA's eGRID emission factors based on 2020 data published in 2022. (0.371 kgs CO2e per kWh).

  • 12.How much oil is used to generate electricity globally?

    Answer:Total primary energy supply, 1971–2019, by area.
    Nearly 27% of the world's electricity in 2019 came from renewable sources, which is three points more than natural gas (24%). For the past eight years, nuclear power has maintained a 10% market share, whereas less than 3% of the world's electricity was generated by oil in 2019.

  • 13.What does a ton of coal equal in kWh?

    Answer:Per ton of coal, 2,460 kWh of electricity are produced. The 3.5 billion kWh produced annually by a typical 500 megawatt coal power plant is sufficient to illuminate 4 million light bulbs for an entire year. It would take about 4,750 pounds (2.15 ton) of coal to run the majority of a household's electrical equipment for an entire year.

  • 14.What makes coal the worst type of energy?

    Answer:Whatever name you give it, coal still causes pollution. It actually produces the most pollution when producing power. Massive volumes of pollution are released during the mining process and subsequent burning of coal in power plants, endangering human health and accelerating climate change.

  • 15.Is coal combustion harmful to the environment?

    Answer:Asthma, cancer, heart and lung conditions, neurological issues, acid rain, global warming, and other serious environmental and public health effects are all linked to air pollution from coal-fired power plants.

  • 16.Is oil still being produced on Earth?

    Answer:By 1906, the figure had increased to 126 million barrels annually. The United States currently produces 6.8 billion barrels of oil annually. Over 70 million barrels are produced daily across the globe, according to OPEC. That equates to about 49,000 barrels each minute.

  • 17.What occurs if the solar panels on your home generate too much electricity?

    Answer:When your system generates more energy than is required, your local utility provider might give you bill credits for the extra energy you feed back into the grid.

  • 18.What would occur if everyone simultaneously switched off their electricity?

    Answer:Overall, shutting off all the lights at once will only allow you to see the Milky Way in the night sky and other objects that would otherwise be impossible to see owing to light pollution. This is definitely not a way to stop climate change and global warming.

  • 19.Is using electricity less expensive than using gas?

    Answer:Regular use of gas energy is significantly less expensive than that of electricity, but overall installation, maintenance, and operating costs tend to favor electricity, and the average product lifespan also outlasts that of gas.

  • 20.What type of energy has the largest carbon footprint?

    Answer:Solar, wind, and nuclear power are all low-carbon sources, with coal being by far the worst emitter, followed by natural gas. Although hydropower, biomass, geothermal, and ocean power are generally low-carbon sources of energy, some power plants may have greater emissions due to poor design or other issues.

  • 21.How many windmills are required to power the UK?

    Answer:John Hensley, the manager of industry data analysis at AWEA, performed the calculations below to get an answer: A rough estimate of the number of onshore turbines needed is 583,000 given that the average annual electricity usage in the UK is 4.082 billion megawatt hours and each wind turbine produces 7,008 megawatt hours annually.

  • 22.Why are prices for both gas and electricity rising?

    Answer:Due to the global gas shortage and environmental taxes, electricity prices are rising primarily as a result of these two factors. While environmental taxes have gradually raised the price of electricity over time, the recent global gas crisis has dramatically raised prices.

  • 23.How many solar panels are required to power the UK?

    Answer:For the entire United States, solar panels must produce that much energy each hour. Therefore, to power the entire UK, 7.85 billion individual solar panels that can each produce 350W per hour are required.

  • 24.What occurs if the solar panels on your home generate too much electricity?

    Answer:When your system generates more energy than is required, your local utility provider might give you bill credits for the extra energy you feed back into the grid.

  • 25.What would occur if everyone simultaneously switched off their electricity?

    Answer:Overall, shutting off all the lights at once will only allow you to see the Milky Way in the night sky and other objects that would otherwise be impossible to see owing to light pollution. This is definitely not a way to stop climate change and global warming.

  • 26.Is using electricity less expensive than using gas?

    Answer:Regular use of gas energy is significantly less expensive than that of electricity, but overall installation, maintenance, and operating costs tend to favor electricity, and the average product lifespan also outlasts that of gas.

  • 27.What type of energy has the largest carbon footprint?

    Answer:Solar, wind, and nuclear power are all low-carbon sources, with coal being by far the worst emitter, followed by natural gas. Although hydropower, biomass, geothermal, and ocean power are generally low-carbon sources of energy, some power plants may have greater emissions due to poor design or other issues.

  • 28.How many windmills are required to power the UK?

    Answer:John Hensley, the manager of industry data analysis at AWEA, performed the calculations below to get an answer: A rough estimate of the number of onshore turbines needed is 583,000 given that the average annual electricity usage in the UK is 4.082 billion megawatt hours and each wind turbine produces 7,008 megawatt hours annually.

  • 29.Why are prices for both gas and electricity rising?

    Answer:Due to the global gas shortage and environmental taxes, electricity prices are rising primarily as a result of these two factors. While environmental taxes have gradually raised the price of electricity over time, the recent global gas crisis has dramatically raised prices.

  • 30.How many solar panels are required to power the UK?

    Answer: For the entire United States, solar panels must produce that much energy each hour. Therefore, to power the entire UK, 7.85 billion individual solar panels that can each produce 350W per hour are required.


Conclusion

Now you understand that using the free energy price comparison tool of UtilityKing will not only help you to compare energy suppliers but also bring you the options to select the best electricity provider in your area. UtilityKing is also able to help you with energy switch to ensure that you will get the best energy deals from the cheapest energy supplier