By Matt Combs

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 28 states used coal for their most common electricity generation source in 2007.

By 2017, that number had dropped to 18 states.

While much attention has been paid to the influence of natural gas, nuclear power generation also increased in a number of states where those sources were most dominant.

With 10 states switching from majority coal use, five switched to a majority of natural gas and five switched to a majority of nuclear.

The majority switch to natural gas was generally contained to the south, with Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Delaware switching to natural gas as their main energy source.

The switch from majority coal to majority nuclear happened in Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Majority hydroelectric production increased in two states -- Maine and Vermont -- which switched from majority natural gas and nuclear, respectively.

New Jersey also switched from majority nuclear energy production to a majority natural gas energy production.

While state majority use has switched fairly evenly between natural gas and nuclear power, overall capacity change nationwide has shifted more towards natural gas, with that form of energy taking of the national majority usage in 2015.

(c)2018 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)