Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 20

BY PAUL WESSLUND

National trends changing energy mix

T

he mix of fuels that keeps your
Coal's share of the electricity mar- shares of electricity generation belights on is changing. In fact, the ket could rebound in the next year or cause of falling prices resulting from
fuel mix has changed so much two. However, new reports from EIA improved technology and mass proover the last three years that energy forecast that natural gas will remain the duction and because of tax incentives
statisticians at the U.S. Energy Infor- largest source of generation through at and other government programs that
mation Administration (EIA) have re- least 2018, says Lauren Khair, NRECA support renewable energy. But there
vised the way they collect data to get regional economic analyst and co-au- are still fewer renewables than othmore information from utilities about thor of the NRECA report.
er fuels, so they are only beginning
things like rooftop solar and how
The NRECA report cites several to make a difference in the share of
utilities are using batteries to manage reasons why natural gas is overtaking electricity generated.
the power grid.
NRECA says all non-hydroelectric
coal:
The trends driving this new fuel * The increasing proportion of natural renewable sources are projected to
blend will continue for the next sev- gas derived from shale has dramatical- reach 10 percent of the energy mix
eral years, says a report released in ly increased the supply and lowered by 2018.
April by the Business and Technology prices.
The original source of renewable
Strategies Department at the Arling- * Environmental regulations-specifi- electricity, hydroelectric dams that
ton, Va.-based National Rural Electric cally, rules limiting emissions of mer- generate power from flowing waCooperative Association (NRECA).
cury-have forced coal plants to either ter, has been more stable, producing
The availability of less-expensive invest millions of dollars in pollution The
6 way
percent
of the electricity in 2015.
your electricity is generated is changing. Below is a
The way your
electricity
is
generated
is changing.
Below is
a
and abundant natural gas has cut control or shut down.
NRECA
says
that
could
due
comparison of energy
sources
usedincrease
to generate
electricity
in
comparison
of energy
sources
used
2006
and 2015.
Natural
gastoisgenerate
catchingelectricity
up to coalinand will likely
into coal's dominance as the top fuel * Natural gas plants, which are smaller
to
recent
heavy
rain
and
snow
in
the
2006 and 2015.
gasfuel
is catching
up 2016,
to coalaccording
and will likely
be theNatural
dominant
source for
to preliminary
be the dominant
fuelthe
source
for Information
2016,
according
to preliminary
data
from
Energy
Administration
(EIA).
source for electric generation. Renew- and quicker to build than coal plants,
western
United
States.
data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
able energy also continues to grow are capable of starting up, shutting
The steadiest share in the elecas a power source. The report, titled down and adjusting their output more tricity fuel mix has been nuclear
2006
Energy
Sources
2006
Energy
Sources
"Electric Industry Generation, Ca- quickly than coal plants, as The
power,
which
has
generated
about a
power
way yourdeelectricity
is generated
is changing.
Below
is a
comparison of energy sources used to
generate
electricity
in
Renewable
3%
Other
pacity, and Markets Outlook," bit.ly/ mand changes.
fifth
of
the
electricity
for
decades.
Renewable
2006 and 2015. Natural gas
is(excluding
catching up to
coal and
will likely
2%
hydro)
3%
be the dominant(excluding
fuel source for
2016, according
preliminary
2% Other
hydro)
ecindg, says these trends will continAnother
oftothe
data from the Energy Information
Administration
(EIA). report's authors,
Hydro
7%
ue, even as President Donald Trump Renewables in the mix
Joe
Goodenbery,
senior economist at
Hydro 7%
has come into office with plans to restresses
Wind and solar energy are 2006
also NRECA,
Energy Sourcesthe value of using
verse previous energy policies.
several
fuels-coal, natural gas, nufactors in the changing fuel mix,
Renewable
Other 3%
(excluding hydro) 2%
The report says, "Although the even though they are intermittent
clear, hydroelectric
and renewables:
Nuclear
Nuclear 19%
Hydroavail7%
Coal 49%
new administration in Washington power sources and not always
"With
the
changing
generation
mix,
19%
Coal 49%
may provide relief from pending en- able. From 2008 to 2015, the electric- we shouldn't overlook the continued
vironmental regulations, the industry ity generated by wind and solar more importance ofNatural
fuel diversity
to ensure
Gas
The way your electricity is generated is changing. Below
is a
Nuclear
Natural Gas
20%
The way
your
electricity
is
generated
is
changing.
Below
is
a
is still faced with future uncertainty
reliability."
than
doubled-from
3
percent
to
19% in
comparison of energy sources used to generate electricity
Coal 49%
20%
comparison
of
energy
generateup
electricity
in will likely
2006
and
2015. sources
Naturalused
gas istocatching
to coal and
as electricity market fundamentals
Paul Wesslund writes about coop7 percent.
2006 and
2015.
Natural
gas
is
catching
up
to
coal
and
will
likely
be the dominant fuel source for 2016, according to preliminary
the dominant
fuel
for
2016,
according
preliminary
are driving substantial changes inbethe
erative
issues for the National Rural
NRECA
says
solar
and towind
enGas
data from
the source
Energy
Information
Administration
(EIA).Natural
data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
20%
energy outlook."
ergy will continue to increase their Electric Cooperative Association.

National Energy
Source
Trends
Source
Trends

National Energy
Source Trends

National
Energy
National
Energy
Source
Trends
Source
Trends

The natural gas advantage

2006
Energy
Sources 2015 2015
Energy
Sources
Energy
Sources
2006
Energy
Sources

Renewable
Renewable
The biggest change is the deOther 3%
Renewable
Renewable
(excluding
hydro) 7% Other 1%
2% 3%
(excluding hydro)
2015
Energy
Sources
Other
(excluding hydro) 7% Other 1%
cline of coal as the main electricity (excluding hydro) 2%
Renewable
(excluding hydro) 7% Other 1%
Hydro 7%
fuel, with the retirement of dozens Hydro
of 7%
Hydro 6%
Hydro 6%
coal-fired generating units every year
Hydro 6%
for the past five years. In 2013, coal
generated 39 percent of the nation's
Coal 33%
Nuclear
Coal 33%
CoalNuclear
33%
Nuclear19%
electricity, with natural gas in secCoal 49%
Nuclear
Nuclear
19%
20%
Coal 49%
20%
20%
ond place at 28 percent. Preliminary
figures for 2016 show that natural
Natural Gas
Natural Gas 33%
Natural Gas
Natural Gas 33%
gas moved into the lead, generating
20%
Natural Gas 33%
20%
33 percent of the electricity, compared with coal's 30 percent.
Source: Energy Information Administration (*national data)

20

Source: Energy Information Administration (*national data)

Source: Energy Information Administration (*national data)
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
GEORGIA MAGAZINE

2015 Energy Sources


http://www.bit.ly/ecindg http://www.bit.ly/ecindg http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - July 2017

Contents
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 3
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 5
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 6
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 7
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 8
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 9
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 10
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 11
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 12
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 13
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 14
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 15
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 15A
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 15B
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 15C
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 15D
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 15E
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 15F
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 16
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 17
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 18
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 19
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 19A
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 19B
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 20
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 21
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 22
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 23
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 24
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 25
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 26
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 27
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 28
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 29
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 30
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 31
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 32
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 32A
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 32B
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 33
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 34
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 35
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 36
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 36A
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 36B
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 36C
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 36D
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 37
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 38
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 38A
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - 38B
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - July 2017 - Cover4
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