Coal generation

EIA Finds Coal vs. Natural Gas Output Close

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has just released its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook, including findings for electricity, coal, renewables and emissions. 

In January and February 2017, coal provided slightly more electric energy than natural gas, and nuclear edged out renewables, but from March through May, the reverse occurred, with more electricity being generated by natural gas-based capacity than coal-based, and with more coming from renewables than from nuclear, as shown in the table.

      U.S. Regional Electricity Generation, All Sectors (1,000 MWh per day)
      U.S. Energy Information Administration | Short-Term Energy Outlook — June 2017
       2017 Data reported by EIA June 28, 2017
   January February  March  April May
Coal   3,727  3,117  2,892 2,402 2,907
 Natural gas  2,946  2,806  2,988  3,033  3,366
 Petroleum  68  58  55  54  64
 Other gases  36  41  39  37  32
 Nuclear  2,359  2,288  2,100  1,892  1,972
 Renewable energy sources:  1,843  1,972  2,164  2,173  2,149
     Conventional hydropower 894 879 974 998 1,050
     Wind 656 775 826 803 708
     Wood biomass 111 118 113 101 105
     Other waste biomass 61 60 57 58 59
     Geothermal 50 49 49 47 47
     Solar 71 91 144 165 180
Pumped storage hydropower -13 -18 -17 -13 -13
Other nonrenewable fuels 36 37 35 36 38
Total generation 11,002 10,300 10,256 9,614 10,515

 

The EIA Short-Term Energy Outlook also noted the following key points:

◊ Electricity generation from utility-scale plants was 11,150 GWh per day in 2016. Warmer-than-normal temperatures in the first quarter of 2017 contributed to a 1.2% year-over-year decline in generation during that time. Forecast cooler summer temperatures compared with last year contribute to an expected 3.3% year-over-year decline in generation in the third quarter of 2017. Overall, forecast generation falls by 1.2% in 2017 and then grows by 1.6% in 2018.

◊ EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas to fall from an average of 34% in 2016 to less than 32% in both 2017 and 2018 as a result of higher expected natural gas prices. Coal's forecast generation share rises from 30% in 2016 to 31% in 2017 and 2018. Nonhydropower renewables are forecast to provide 9% of electricity generation in 2017 and nearly 10% in 2018. The generation share of hydropower is forecast to be nearly 8% in 2017 and 7% in 2018. The nuclear share of generation remains just under 20% in both 2017 and 2018.

◊ Coal exports for the first quarter of 2017 were 58% higher than in the same quarter last year, with steam coal exports increasing by 6 million short tons (MMst). Coal producers that have completed bankruptcy reorganizations and companies that purchased bankrupt assets have increased both exports and production in 2017. EIA expects growth in coal exports to slow in the coming months, with exports for all of 2017 forecast at 72 MMst, 11 MMst (19%) above the 2016 level. The increase in coal exports contributes to an expected 8% increase in coal production in 2017.


Source:

 

◊ Wind electricity generating capacity at the end of 2016 was 81 GW. EIA expects wind capacity additions in the forecast will bring total wind capacity to 88 GW by the end of 2017 and 102 GW by the end of 2018.

◊ Total utility-scale solar electricity generating capacity at the 2016 was 21 GW. EIA expects solar capacity additions in the forecast will bring total utility-scale solar capacity to 29 GW by the end of 2017 and 32 GW by the end of 2018.

◊ After declining by 1.7% in 2016, energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to decrease by 0.7% in 2017 and then increase by 2.2% in 2018.

*Note: Hydropower excludes pumped storage generation. Liquid biofuels include ethanol and biodiesel. Other biomass includes municipal waste from biogenic sources, landfill gas and other non-wood waste. ♦

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