Figure 1: Energy Consumption in Tennessee, the South, and the U.S., 2007 Unlike most states in the South that account for a disproportionately large amount of the nation’s industrial energy use, industry accounts for only 32% of Tennessee’s overall energy consumption. In contrast, its residential energy consumption as a percentage of its overall energy use exceeds that of the South and that of the nation (Figure 2).
Tennessee consumes proportionately more coal and nuclear energy than other states in the South. On the other hand, it consumes relatively less natural gas and petroleum (Figure 3). The federally administered Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) controls nearly all of the state’s electricity generation. It generates more electricity than any other public utility in the nation. About 64 percent of the electricity consumed in Tennessee is generated by coal plants, and approximately 27% is generated by nuclear plants.