Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2013 Annual Electricity Generation and Market Share

Preliminary numbers from the EIA for 2013 show the twin threats to coal and gas-fired electricity generation:  Slow power demand growth, and small but steady gains by renewable fuels.

In 2013 total power demand was flat with 2012, and well below the 2012 peak (by about 2.5%).  Power generation from fossil fuels fell by about 1.6%, with a corresponding gain for renewables+nuclear.

While 2014 is showing signs of load growth in a few regions (Texas in particular), renewable capacity is likely increasing by the largest amount ever, and expensive natural gas is also losing market share to coal.

This output plateau bares an interesting resemblance to the trend in total road miles driven, which stopped growing during the economic crisis and never got back on trend.