Friday, May 19, 2017

Natural Gas Has Displaced Coal in the Northeast’s Generation Mix over the Past 10 Years

Net Electricity Generation by fuel in Northeast states, 2006-2016 (Credit: Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Power Plant Operations Report) Click to Enlarge.
The generation fuel mix of electricity in the Northeast Census division of the United States has shifted dramatically over the past 10 years.  In the nine Northeast states, natural gas nearly doubled its share of the region’s total generation to 41% in 2016, up from 23% in 2006.  Coal-fired generation fell from 31% to 11% of generation over the same period. Nuclear-powered generation as a share of total generation remained relatively constant near 34%.  Despite more than doubling over the same period, the share of nonhydro renewables remains relatively small.  Overall, total generation in the region declined by 3% between 2006 and 2016.

Increased access to low-cost natural gas from the Marcellus Shale and other regional shale plays has driven the switch away from coal in the Northeast United States.  Environmental policies at the federal and regional level, such as production tax credits, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and renewable portfolio standards, have also contributed to the decline in coal generation.  Pennsylvania continues to be a leading coal generator nationally, despite falling by 31%, or 68 million kilowatthours (kWh), between 2006 and 2016.  Coal-fired generation in both New York and Connecticut fell by 90% between 2006 and 2016, or by 19 million kWh and 4.1 million kWh, respectively.

Read more at Natural Gas Has Displaced Coal in the Northeast’s Generation Mix over the Past 10 Years

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