Electric Generation Increased in January 2014

March 21, 2014

As reported in US Energy Administation  

Electric Monthly Update   3/21/14

Net generation in the United States increased 8.2 percent in January 2014 compared to the previous year. This year-over-year increase in electricity generation occurred because most states in the eastern half of the U.S. experienced significantly below normal temperatures in January 2014. This led to a significant increase in heating load compared to last year which caused increased demand for electricity generation during January 2014. The only region that experienced a decrease in electricity generation in January 2014 was the West, where the overall average temperature for many Western states was significantly above average for January. This caused the West to have a 4.4 percent decrease in electricity generation compared to last January.

For the second consecutive month, electricity generation from coal increased in all regions of the country except for the West. The change in natural gas generation was much more varied, with the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Central, and the West all experiencing increases in natural gas generation. The Northeast and Texas all experienced decreases in natural gas generation compared to last January. The Northeast had the largest percent change in natural gas generation, decreasing 17.2 percent compared to last January. The large decrease in natural gas generation in the Northeast can be attributed to the significantly colder temperatures experienced in January 2014, which led to a large increase in natural gas prices in the region that, on some days, effectively priced natural gas generation out of the market.

Electricity generation from nuclear plants increased in almost all parts of the country, except for in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast where nuclear generation was down slightly from the previous year. Other fossil generators increased electricity generation in all regions of the country during January 2014, particularly in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. At times, it was cheaper to burn oil than natural gas.

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