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Global Generation Report Card

American nuclear power plants top the world with stellar capacity factors, while fossil fuel and hydro generators lag and solar and wind generation perform well, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

American nuclear power plants top the world with stellar capacity factors, while fossil fuel and hydroelectric generators lag and solar and wind generation perform well, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The nuclear fleet in the United States averaged a 90 percent capacity factor from 2008-2012, the agency said. That compared with 77 percent for Europe and 80 percent for Russia.

US EIA

Fossil fuel generation capacity factors in the United States averaged 41 percent over the five years, below Japan's 44 percent and Russia's 48 percent.

In hydro, the United States at 40 percent capacity factor equals Russia, while both lag Canada which is at 56 percent.

Capacity factors for solar and wind generation in the United States averaged 27 percent in that period, tied with Africa and ahead of China's 18 percent as well as most regions of the world. 

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