Electricity Generation Percentage from Coal By State

Quote of the Day

The worldwide demand for cars will not exceed one million –even if just for a scarcity of available chauffeurs.

— Gottlieb Daimler, Inventor, 1901. Early cars were so complex that chauffeurs were considered mandatory. Most technology becomes more user-friendly over time  – cars were no exception.


Introduction

Figure 1: Coal Trains Are A Common Sight.

Figure 1: Coal Trains Are A Common Sight Where I Live. (Source)

I drive a short distance (7 km) to work everyday. On my drive, I often have to wait at a railroad crossing for a coal-train train to pass (typical example in Figure 1). I have never thought much how much my state depends on coal until I saw an interview with a Missouri senator who was talking about her state's dependence on coal for electrical power generation. I am currently teaching myself how to use the Power Query add-in for Excel, and I thought that generating a graphic of coal dependence by state would be a good Power Query/Visio exercise.

Background

I found the 2013 state-by-state percentage of coal-based electrical generation at this web site. I used Power Query to gather the data and clean it up. I then used a data connection to Visio to load the data into a map of the US. The process worked very well.

Analysis

The analysis was all done in Power Query and involved scraping data from a web site. The rest of the work was linking my Excel workbook to a Visio drawing of the United States – something I do all the time. This allowed me to generate the following plot of the percentage of coal-based electrical generation by state (Figure 2).

Figure 2: State-By-State Coal-Based Electricity Generation Percentages.

Figure 2: State-By-State Coal-Based Electricity Generation Percentages.

Conclusion

I was surprised by the widely varying percentages of coal usage –0% to 95%. This zip file contains the files I used to create this graphic. To use the files, you will have to update the data connection link to reflect where you put the files.

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