Where Does Maryland Get Its Electricity?
Have you ever wondered, where does Maryland get its electricity? It turns out residents in the Old Line State get their electricity from a variety of sources.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Maryland’s annual electric power generation is 37.8 TWh. But the annual electric power consumption in the state is 61.8 TWh. That means Maryland doesn’t currently produce enough energy within the state to meet its needs. Some electric power must be outsourced from out-of-state.
If you live in Maryland and want to know where your electricity is coming from, then keep reading.
Coal – 395 Thousand MWh
Although the U.S. is continually moving away from coal-produced electricity, it’s still a major energy generator in some states. That’s definitely the case in Maryland, home to the second-largest coal exporting port in the country. Despite accounting for only about 9% of the electricity generated in Maryland, coal is continually burned for electricity because it’s inexpensive.
Nuclear Power – 1,290 Thousand MWh
Nuclear power is the other electricity supply source that is continually tapped to supply the Maryland electric grid, and it’s done for the same reason as coal. Nuclear power plants are expensive to set up, but once they’re up and running they are relatively low-cost to run. Therefore, the electricity you get out of nuclear power plants tends to be cheaper to generate.
The one and only nuclear power plant in Maryland, Calvert Cliffs, is extremely productive. It’s the source of 41% of Maryland’s electricity generation. That’s pretty impressive, especially when you put it into the context of in-state electricity generation.
Natural Gas – 1,166 Thousand MWh
While some states are heavily reliant on natural gas for electricity, Maryland isn’t one of them. However, the biggest use for natural gas in the state is electricity generation. The Energy Information Agency reports that between 2015 and 2021 natural gas-fired electricity generation more than tripled in Maryland.
Natural gas is now the second biggest source of electricity in Maryland behind only nuclear power. This shift is the result of the nation’s movement away from using coal-fired plants. Unlike coal and nuclear power, natural gas isn’t produced in Maryland. It’s sourced from out-of-state. Worse is the fact that natural gas prices fluctuate a lot, making electricity costs less predictable compared to other energy sources.
Petroleum – 0 MWh
Maryland is even less reliant on petroleum for electricity than it is on coal. Maryland has one of the lowest per capita uses of petroleum, and 90% of it is used for transportation. None of the state’s petroleum use is currently for electricity generation.
Renewable Resources – 431 Thousand MWh
Last but not least is renewable resources. It’s another source of electricity generation that’s increasing in the state. Maryland’s main contributor in the renewables category is hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power accounts for 287 thousand MWh of the renewable energy generation.
Many Marylanders may be surprised to find that the second largest renewable electricity source is landfill gas. Unlike a number of other states, solar and wind energy production hasn’t been the focus. However, Maryland has set some ambitious energy efficiency goals in recent years, and the state also intends to keep investing in renewables.
If you’re a Maryland resident, you’re in luck because you have the freedom to choose your energy supplier. That means you can look for an electricity plan that’s powered by your preferred energy source. Major Energy can help you find the perfect electric plan – use your zip code to compare rates and more.