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Sourcebook illuminates current, future statistics

Issue 5 and Volume 101.

Sourcebook illuminates current, future statistics

Residential energy consumption is expected to rise about 20 percent to 3.6 quadrillion Btu by 2015, and of that amount of 22 quadrillion Btu, some 14.2 quadrillion Btu will be used to provide residential electricity. Advances in efficiency of home appliances will continue to be applied in new homes and in some retrofits, according to the Electric Power Statistics Sourcebook from PennWell Publishing Co. Energy use projections for the commercial sector show a broad downturn. Primary energy use is expected to equal 16 quadrillion Btu in 2015, nearly 75 percent of which will be electricity. Energy consumption per square foot of floorspace declines by 0.3 percent a year. In part, the decline is the result of increased efficiency, standards and voluntary government standards.

Primary energy use in the industrial sector is projected to increase about 18 percent by 2015. Electricity?s share should increase from 23 to 35 percent, natural gas should fall from 33 to 25 percent, and coal should fall from 16 to 10 percent. During this period, natural gas may be perceived to be in short supply, and coal will be less desirable because of environmental effects. Electricity generation from natural gas and coal through 2015 will increase significantly to meet increased electricity demand and to compensate for the decline in nuclear generation. With lower capital requirements, natural gas will increase its share of generation. Because fossil fuel prices are lower in the current projection, renewable energy sources will penetrate the market rather slowly.

Generation

Peak demand for electricity is expected to be about the same over the next 10 years as the last several years. A range of base forecasts reflects variations from 1.21 percent per year to 2.3 percent. The most likely projection will be 1.7 percent per year. U.S. utilities have about 708 GW of generating capability. Despite slower demand growth, 252 GW of new generating capacity will be needed by 2015 to satisfy electricity demand growth and to replace retiring units.

Some 84 GW, 12 percent, of current generating capacity is expected to retire, including 36 GW of nuclear capacity. Approximately 30 GW of this nuclear capacity is assumed to be retired after 2010. Consequently, of the 96 GW of new capacity needed after 2010, almost one-third will be needed to replace the loss of nuclear capacity. There is a high degree of uncertainty in projecting the need for new plants or additions. Capacity margins have been decreasing over the last few years and are predicted to fall even more. The current margin of 19 percent is expected to fall to 13 percent by 2005, with resources planned for but not yet under construction, the capacity margin could fall to about 8 percent.

Because of the tremendous capital expenditure required for building new baseload generation facilities, utilities are concentrating on reducing peak demand through conservation and demand-side management (DSM) technologies. The costs and benefits of DSM programs are expected to increase over the next several years according to a U.S. Department of Energy report detailing both past and future electric utility DSM program costs and effects.

Of the 3,250 electric utilities reporting, 439 reported running DSM programs. The 939 consumer-owned cooperatives comprise 29.3 percent of all electric utilities and accounted for 7.9 percent of all revenues from sales to ultimate consumers and 23.9 percent of all revenues from sales for resale. The 10 federal electric utilities accounted for 0.6 percent of all revenues from sales to ultimate consumers and 15.9 percent of all revenues from sales for resale.

The average revenue per kWh for ultimate consumers ranged from 2.8 to 7.1 cents, depending on the type of electric utility. The overall average was 6.9 cents. Average sales for resale revenue per kWh ranged from 3.5 to 4.0 cents, depending on the type of electric utility, with an average of 3.7 cents.

More information is available from PennWell at (800) 752-9764.

M By Wayne Beaty, Contributing Editor