Year on year electricity generation rose 0.8 percent in January

Net generation in the U.S. was up 0.8 percent from January 2010 to January 2011, according to the Energy Information Administration. Coal-fired generators showed the largest fuel-specific decline over the period as coal-fired generation was down 1.3 percent. Conventional hydroelectric generation saw the largest absolute "fuel-specific" increase as generation was up  16.2 percent.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported the average January temperature across the contiguous United States was the lowest since 1994, breaking a string of warm or near normal Januaries. As a result, heating degree days were 4.3 percent higher than normal January level. The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production was 5.2 percent higher than it had been in January 2010, the thirteenth consecutive month that industrial production was higher than in the corresponding months of the previous year.

The rise in conventional hydroelectric generation was the largest absolute "fuel-specific" increase as generation was up 3,590 thousand megawatthours, or 16.2 percent. The largest rises were in Washington, California and Oregon. NOAA reports that many locations in the west lost snow during what was a dry January. The drop in snowpack in California was characterized as "significant." The next largest increase was in wind generation, up 27.6 percent or 1,923 thousand megawatthours. Washington, Wyoming and Colorado showed the largest increases. The higher total in Wyoming is primarily due to generation from the Top of the World and Dunlap facilities, which came online in October 2010.

Coal-fired generators showed the largest fuel-specific decline from January 2010 to January 2011. Generation was down 2,259 thousand megawatthours, or 1.3 percent. The drops in West Virginia and Florida accounted for 76.3 percent of the national decline in coal-fired generation.

Lower petroleum liquid-fired generation accounted for the second-largest fuel-specific drop as it was down 1,331 thousand megawatthours or 42.0 percent. Declines in petroleum liquid-fired generation in Florida were by far the largest in the Nation as temperatures in the Sunshine State were more moderate than they had been in January 2010 and demand for electricity from Florida generators was lower. 

In January, coal-fired plants contributed 47.1 percent of the power generated in the United States. Natural gas-fired plants contributed 20.4 percent, and nuclear plants contributed 20.0 percent. Conventional hydroelectric sources provided 7.1 percent of the total, while other renewables (biomass, geothermal, solar and wind) and other miscellaneous energy sources generated the remaining 4.5 percent of electric power.

Coal consumption for electric power generation in January 2011 was down 0.5 percent compared to January 2010. Consumption of natural gas fell 0.8 percent. For the same time period, consumption of petroleum liquids was down 42.0 percent, while petroleum coke was up 20.1 percent.

Total electric power sector coal stocks decreased between January 2010 and January 2011 by 7.3 percent, or 13.0 million tons. January was the ninth consecutive month that total coal stocks were lower than the same month in the prior year after 20 consecutive months where they were higher. Stocks of bituminous coal fell 11.4 percent or 9.8 million tons between January 2010 and January 2011 (from 86.3 million tons to 76.4 million tons). Subbituminous coal stocks fell 5.4 percent over the same period (from 87.0 to 82.3 million tons).

The average price paid for coal in January 2011 was $2.34 per MMBtu. That was up 4.9 percent from the average price of $2.23 per MMBtu paid in December 2010. It also was up 5.4 percent from the average price of $2.22 per MMBtu paid in January 2010. Receipts of coal in January 2011 were 80.8 million tons, down 2.1 percent when compared with December 2010 (82.5 million tons). It was up 4.5 percent when compared with January 2010 receipts (77.3 million tons).

The average price paid for natural gas in January 2011 was $5.37 per MMBtu. That was down 0.7 percent from the average price of $5.41 per MMBtu paid in December 2010. It also was down 19.9 percent from the average price of $6.70 per MMBtu paid in January 2010. Receipts of natural gas in January 2011 were 658.9 million Mcf, down 2.2 percent when compared with December 2010 (673.5 million Mcf). It was up 0.6 percent when compared with January 2010 receipts (654.7 million Mcf).

Read more news and features on the business of power generation.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

EPA expected to treat coal ash waste like garbage

Environmentalists and industry experts widely expect the first federal standards for the waste generated from coal burned for electricity to treat the ash like household garbage, rather than a hazardous material.

Duke Energy completes ash excavation at W.S. Lee Steam Station

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has submitted filings, to state regulators, outlining additional ash excavation plans for its W.S. Lee Steam Station in Belton, South Carolina.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter

Latest News

American wind power rebounds in 2014, but stable policy still needed

The fourth quarter 2014 wind energy industry report released yesterday by the American Wind E...

Weekly Coal Production Report

The Weekly Coal Production Report has been updated for the week ended January 24, 2015.

Hawaii energy executives tell lawmakers plans for takeover

An official at NextEra Energy told Hawaii lawmakers that his company does not plan to lay off...

Dominion seeks rate freeze against opposition on many fronts

Virginia's biggest electric utility wants to weaken state oversight of its rates, saying the ...

GE to supply turbines for wind power project in China

GE (NYSE: GE) will supply 55 units of its 2.75-120 brilliant wind turbines to Huaneng Corp.’s...
Renewable Roundtable Discussion

Power Engineering Photo of the Day

Company to supply doors to Chernobyl nuclear plant site

Groupe Gorge, through its subsidiary, Baumert, won a new order to supply technical doors to t...

Siemens to maintain California natural gas-fired power plant

Siemens (NYSE: SI) was awarded a long-term service agreement for the 507-MW Blythe Energy Cen...

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover

Products Showcase

Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Categories

Power Industry Wire News

Forbes Magazine Ranks Precision Frac #4

Forbes Magazine Ranks Precision Frac #4

Vectren to Discuss 2014 Results and 2015 Outlook on Conference Call

Vectren to Discuss 2014 Results and 2015 Outlook on Conference Call

Vectren Declares Quarterly Dividend

Vectren Declares Quarterly Dividend

NV5 Appoints Francois Tardan to Board of Directors

NV5 Appoints Francois Tardan to Board of Directors

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. Confirms Distribution Increase for Fourth Quarter 2014

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. Confirms Distribution Increase for Fourth Quarter 2014

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>