EIA: Natural gas-fired power generation down 14% for first 7 months of 2013

Energy Information Administration EIA natural gas prices coal generation down

Natural gas-fired power generation is down 14 percent during the first seven months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, according to a report released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas-fired generation remains consistently higher than pre-2012 levels, however.

According to the report, the main cause of the drop in natural gas-fired generation is a higher natural gas prices relative to coal prices. High natural gas-fired generation in 2012 resulted from the lowest spot natural gas prices in a decade, causing coal and natural gas to share equal shares of total generation in April of 2012.

The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region have used significantly lower amounts of natural gas for power so far in 2013 because more natural gas was used in those regions compared to regions such as Texas where natural gas did not displace as much coal-fired generation.

“Fuel competition is less intense in parts of the country where coal fuels a very small portion of the generation or where the delivered coal price is extremely low, resulting in relatively greater coal consumption,” according to the EIA.

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