Coal remains the nation's top source of electricity generation, providing 40% of America's power, but some states are moving to zero. So far just 2 states--Rhode Island and Vermont--are at zero coal-fired electricity.
But another 7 states already get very little electricity from coal and may join the no-coal-electricity group in the coming years. Those states include the nation's biggest--California--plus Connecticut, Delaware, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Maine. If they end coal use, most of these states will depend primarily on gas and renewables, with Connecticut also being supplied by nuclear plants.
In the first 4 months of 2013, California had the biggest percentage reduction in coal generation--a big 37%--compared to 2012. But California already gets little power from generation so that the total decrease in coal-fired electricity there was small.
The biggest total reduction in coal-fired generation came in Georgia during the first 4 months of 2013. Georgia saw a decrease of more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours this year compared to 2012.
Though Georgia will likely generate electricity from coal for many years to come, 9 states are on course to ending the use of coal for electricity sooner rather than later. That is a noteworthy emerging trend in America.