Blog Post

Insight: Nuclear in Utah’s Energy Mix

By: Thomas Holst

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the views shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.

Utah’s energy mix currently features coal, crude oil, and natural gas to generate electricity. The mixture will soon include nuclear power.

    • The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) nuclear plant commences operations in 2029, serving communities across seven western states.
    • PacifiCorp plans a nuclear plant in Emery County in 2032, replacing two coal-fired power plants.

Nuclear power currently contributes 20% of U.S. electricity generation, but this percentage may increase. Developers constructed most U.S. coal-fired power plants in the 1970s and 1980s. Replacements for these plants now compete with efficient, modern power plants and low-cost renewable energies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s short-term energy outlook shows carbon fuels declining while nuclear and renewable energies increase (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Forecast Share of U.S. Electricity Generation by Power Sector, 2018-2024