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‹ U.S. States Alabama

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Last Updated: respectable 19, 2021


Alabama’s timberland acreage—the third largest amongst the reduced 48 states—gives the state ample biomass power resources.

Alabama has actually a wide range of power resources, v deposits of coal, as well as some crude oil and also natural gas reserves.1,2 situated along the Gulf of Mexico, southerly Alabama consists of a seaside plain v a humid, subtropical climate. The state"s north consists of the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains, where below-zero temperatures happen every few years and also measurable eye is common.3,4 Alabama"s countless rivers flow from the Appalachian highlands towards the Gulf that Mexico, and several dams along those rivers carry out hydroelectric power.5,6,7 forests cover much more than two-thirds that Alabama, and the state has the third-largest full timberland acreage amongst the lower 48 states, after Georgia and Oregon, which gives the state ample biomass resources.8,9

Alabama ranks amongst the peak 15 claims in energy usage per capita, mainly because of high energy need from the state"s industrial sector, i beg your pardon accounts because that slightly an ext than two-fifths of the state"s complete energy consumption. Alabama ranks among the 10 states with the highest possible industrial sector power use.10,11 that is among the top 5 states in the to produce of cars and light trucks, producing around 1 million vehicles annually, and also it is fourth-largest auto exporting state. The produce of automobiles and also other transportation equipment, chemicals, paper and lumber products, as well as mining and also oil and also gas extraction, agriculture, and also forestry, are significant contributors to Alabama"s economy.12,13,14 The transport sector account for about one-fourth that the state"s complete energy consumption. In spite of high energy use for cooling during the state"s hot, humid summers and also the widespread use of electrical energy for residence heating in the winter, the residential sector renders up slightly less than one-fifth of power use and also the commercial sector accounts for about one-eighth the Alabama"s energy consumption.15,16,17


Alabama ranks sixth amongst the says in electricity net generation.18 herbal gas has fueled the biggest share of electrical energy in Alabama since 2014 and also accounted for 40% of the state"s network generation in 2020.19

The Browns Ferry strength plant has the second-largest nuclear strength generating capacity in the nation.

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Alabama is the nation"s fourth-largest producer of power from nuclear power.20 Alabama"s two nuclear power plants, v a complete of five reactors, created 32% the the power generated in the state in 2020. The 3 reactors at the Tennessee valley Authority"s (TVA) Browns Ferry nuclear strength plant in phibìc Alabama have actually the second-largest linked generating capacity amongst U.S. Nuclear power plants, ~ Arizona"s Palo Verde nuclear strength plant.21,22

Coal had historically sustained the largest share of electrical power generation in Alabama, but aging coal-fired generating plants have shut down, with around 4,200 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity retiring indigenous 2015 through 2020.23,24 since 2010, coal-fired strength plants" donation to Alabama"s network generation to reduce by much more than half, declining to 16% of the state"s total generation in 2020.25

Alabama is the second-largest hydroelectric power producer east of the Rocky Mountains, after new York.26 Twenty-three hydroelectric dams on Alabama"s rivers listed almost 9% that the state"s net generation in 2020.27,28 Alabama additionally ranks amongst the top five states in power generation indigenous biomass—about 2% of the state"s full generation—and almost every one of it is from burning wood and wood-derived fuel from the state"s an extensive forest products industry.29,30

Alabama"s electrical energy production above its consumption, and practically one-third the the electrical power generated in the state is sent to neighboring states over the regional electric grid.31,32 Alabama"s residential sector and also industrial sector each account because that slightly much less than two-fifths of the electrical power sold in the state.33 The advertisement sector makes up one-fourth the the state"s power sales. Total electricity intake per capita in Alabama is fifth-highest in the nation and every capita electrical energy use in the residential sector ranking third, due in part to the high need for air conditioning in the warm summers and also the widespread use of power for home heating in the winter.34,35 practically 7 out of 10 Alabama family members heat with electricity.36


Coal has actually been mined commercially in Alabama due to the fact that the 1850s and also supported breakthrough of the iron and also steel industry in the state.37 Alabama holds around 1% that U.S. Economically recoverable coal reserves. In 2019, the state ranked 12th in complete coal production and also 7th in bituminous coal production, the most abundant form of coal discovered in the joined States. Bituminous coal is offered to generate electricity and also to make steel.38,39 more than 80% of the coal created in Alabama comes from 7 secret mines, and the rest originates from 22 surface ar mines.40 much more than four-fifths the the coal dispersed by Alabama is exported to various other countries.41

During 2020, the cell phone seaport ranked first in the nation for handling U.S. Charcoal imports and 3rd in shipping U.S. Charcoal exports.42 nearly 90% of Alabama coal the is offered domestically is delivered by barge, railroad, and also truck to electrical power plants, coking plants, and other commercial facilities in the state. Minor quantities of Alabama coal likewise are delivered to coking plants and also other commercial plants in several various other states, mostly Indiana and also Ohio.43,44 much less than one-tenth the the coal offered in Alabama is mined in the state. Wyoming supplies about three-fifths of the U.S. Charcoal consumed in Alabama. All of the Wyoming coal is delivered to power plants in the electric power sector, which is the biggest coal consumer in Alabama. The remaining domestic coal consumed in Alabama come by railroad, river barge, and truck from about fifty percent a dozen other states.45


Alabama"s economically recoverable rudely oil reserves are small—only about 0.1% the the U.S. Total.46 Oil was uncovered in west-central Alabama in the mid-1940s a couple of miles indigenous the border v Mississippi.47 Today, a small amount of crude oil is created from fields in the northwestern and southwestern parts of the state.48,49 The state"s annual crude oil production raised slightly from 2011 v 2013, yet output has decreased annually because then. Production in 2020 fell to 4.3 million barrels, the lowest level in much more than 6 decades.50,51

Alabama has actually three petroleum refineries through a merged processing volume of about 140,000 barrels of crude oil oil every calendar day. The state"s biggest refinery is located near Mobile. The second-largest refinery is in Tuscaloosa top top the black color Warrior River, and the 3rd and the smallest refinery is in Atmore.52 The refineries can procedure a selection of domestic and imported rudely oils right into refined assets that include: feedstocks because that chemical plants, engine gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, residual fuel, and also asphalt for local and local markets.53,54,55 Alabama receives additional refined commodities from Texas and Louisiana via two significant interstate pipelines—the early american Pipeline and also the PPL Pipeline (formerly recognized as the Plantation Pipeline). This pipelines relocate gasoline and other petroleum commodities through Alabama to supply half a dozen various other southern and also eastern states.56,57,58

About 90% that the petroleum supplied in Alabama is consumed as transport fuels, mainly motor gasoline and diesel fuel.59 typical gasoline without ethanol have the right to be sold throughout the state, although almost all U.S. Petrol is blended with at the very least 10% ethanol.60,61 Alabama does not have any ethanol production plants, however the state consumes around 266 million gallons the fuel ethanol per year.62,63 Alabama has actually one biodiesel manufacturing plant the can develop 20 million gallons a year, and the state is the 11th-largest biodiesel-consuming state.64,65 about 6 out of 100 Alabama households heat v petroleum, mostly propane.66

Natural gas

Alabama produces organic gas both onshore and offshore in state waters, consisting of in cell phone Bay. The state"s verified reserves of organic gas have fallen to around one-fourth that their peak estimate in the early 1990s and now comprise around 0.3% that U.S. Complete natural gas reserves.67,68 Alabama"s annual marketed natural gas production likewise has steadily decreased for the previous two decades. The state contributes around 0.4% to the nation"s full natural gas production.69,70 Three-fifths the Alabama"s organic gas production originates from onshore wells, and most of the onshore production is in the type of coalbed methane—a organic gas produced from coal seams. The state"s coalbed methane wells are situated primarily in the black Warrior container in northwestern Alabama.71,72,73

Alabama"s organic gas production meets about one-fifth that the state"s gas demand.74,75 The state receives extr natural gas through interstate pipelines, largely from Mississippi, but huge volumes are likewise shipped south through Tennessee from Pennsylvania and also Ohio organic gas areas in the Marcellus and also Utica shales. More than four-fifths of the natural gas the enters Alabama continues on through the state, greatly to Georgia, Florida, and also Mississippi.76

An enhancing amount that the natural gas spend in Alabama walk to strength plants together fuel for power generation. Due to the fact that 2007, the electric power sector has been the largest herbal gas-consuming ar in the state and also accounted because that 60% of complete natural gas deliveries in 2020. The commercial sector spend the second-largest amount of natural gas—about 32% that the state"s total. 77,78 Although about 3 the end of 10 Alabama families use natural gas for heating, the residential sector generally accounts for only around 4% the the state"s organic gas consumption. The commercial ar accounts for slightly much more than 3% that the state"s natural gas use.79,80

Renewable energy

In 2020, renewable power sources generated around 12% the Alabama"s in-state electricity. Hydroelectric infrastructure accounted for more than three-fourths of the state"s renewable power generation. Practically all the remainder of Alabama"s utility-scale (1 megawatt or larger) renewable generation come from biomass, mainly from wood and also wood-derived fuels at industrial facilities.81,82 Alabama"s biomass sources also provide feedstock because that the state"s 3 commercial hardwood pellet plants, which have a an unified annual manufacturing capacity of 432,000 quick tons—about 3% the the nation"s total. The smallest plant"s feedstock consists of peanut hulls to make wood pellets.83,84

Alabama"s total solar power generation is small, yet increased in recent years, and also in 2020 it accounting for about 2% that the state"s renewable generation.85 The state"s strongest solar sources are situated in the southeast edge of Alabama and also along the state"s quick Gulf shore shoreline.86 Alabama"s first commercial solar farm, v 75 megawatts the solar photovoltaic (PV) generating capacity, started operating in 2016. The state had practically 200 megawatts of set up utility-scale solar strength generating capacity at the beginning of 2021. A 227-megawatt solar farm in northwest Alabama, which will certainly be the state"s largest, is booked to come online in 2021 and also will supply power to a huge computer data center.87,88,89 over there is currently small customer-sited, small-scale solar generating capacity—such as residential rooftop solar panels—in the state.90,91

Alabama has no utility-scale wind generation, yet there are a couple of areas along its Gulf coastline and along follow me of the Appalachian hill ridges in the northeastern part of the state that have actually modest wind resources.92,93 In June 2021, the U.S. Department of the inner published a inquiry to check out if over there was any type of interest among energy companies in leasing tracts in federal waters that start three miles off the Alabama coast and also extend 200 miles right into the Gulf of Mexico because that commercial wind strength development.94,95

Alabama go not have a renewable portfolio typical or a voluntary renewable power goal however does encourage energy savings and also efficiency.96,97 The state has an energy building code for commercial and also residential buildings and energy conservation steps for state-owned buildings.98,99


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