Natural Gas Generation Peak Lower Than Last Summer So Far

By Editors of Power Engineering

Natural gas generation reached its highest daily level for the year so far, though power burn remains lower than last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Peak daily power burn reached 41 billion cubic feet on July 20, though 2016 reached a peak of 42 Bcf on August 11. Gas generation typically peaks at the end of July or the beginning of August.

Power burn from April 1 through July 25 averaged 27.1 Bcf per day, or seven percent lower than last year. Though lower, EIA noted the use is still relatively high for the five-year average.

The administration expects 2017 will end with an average natural gas power burn of 25.9 Bcf per day, nine percent lower than last year.

Higher natural gas prices were due to the decline, as Henry Hub natural gas spot prices averaged $3.03 per million British thermal units from April through July, compared to $42.27 for the same period last year.

Coal has overtaken natural gas for 2017 with 30 percent of all utility-scale electricity generated for the first four months of 2017, compared to 28 percent for natural gas.