Data Science Texts


The Decline of Coal Power in the US

Shameless plug: If you enjoyed this graphic, you might also enjoy Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air, an informative but humorous introduction to sustainable energy.

Data Notes


Coal power has been on the decline in the US for the past decade as it has been displaced by natural gas and renewables. Note that solar appears on the chart in 2014 as that is the earliest year for which data is available from the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Weaknesses of the Visualization

This visualization has several weaknesses.

  1. The fact that energy generation has remained more-or-less constant is obscured. We left off total generation to make the changes in individual sources more visible.
  2. There are additional energy sources that could be added to the chart. Adding too many makes it hard to read, however.

Data Sources

The data comes from the EIA. They actually have a number of useful visualization tools to further slice and dice the data.


This visualization was created using R and D3. The following packages were particularly helpful: