Coal, Gas, Hydroelectric, Nuclear, Wind

Hydro generation jumped in April, EIA data show

Net electric power generation in the United States rose 5.2 percent from April 2010 to April 2011, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration.

As it had been in March 2011, a rise in conventional hydroelectric generation was the largest absolute “fuel-specific” increase, up 12,663 thousand MWh, or 68.0 percent. Increased generation from hydro facilities in the contiguous Pacific Coast states accounted for 64.8 percent of the national increase.

As it did a month earlier, natural gas-fired generation showed the second-largest increase over April 2010, up 9.3 percent or 5,978 thousand MWh. Increases in Florida, Texas and Louisiana offset reported declines in the Pacific Coast states.

Generation from wind plants, up 25.2 percent, was the third-largest absolute increase from April 2010 to April 2011. California, Texas and Illinois had the largest gains, but EIA said the increase was widespread. Of the 38 states that had wind generators reported to EIA, six had less generation reported in April 2011 than in April 2010.

The largest fuel-specific decline in April was from nuclear generators. The largest drops were reported in New Hampshire, Kansas and Tennessee. Coal-fired generation was down 2.2 percent or 2,775 thousand MWh. The largest declines were in Georgia, Alabama and Montana. The overall share of net generation attributable to coal fell to 41.2 percent.

EIA said the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production was 5.0 percent higher than it had been in April 2010. that marked the 16th consecutive month that industrial production was higher than in the corresponding months of the previous year.

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