Generation from Gas, Coal Fell in 2017 as Renewables Rose

by ronfluegge 23. March 2018 11:32

The year-end electric power report from the Energy Information Administration showed overall generation fell by 1.5 percent in 2017, but different power sources experienced different changes in use.

Natural gas experienced a relatively steep decline of 7.7 percent last year, with coal generation falling 2.5 percent. Natural gas remained the most-used fuel source for the third year in a row, though its biggest annual decline on record significantly narrowed the gap with coal. Additionally, 2017 was the first year since 2009 that both natural gas and coal-fired generation fell in the same year.

Coal accounted for more than half of the electric capacity retired in 2017, with 6.3 GW of the 1.2 GW total. For the first year in at least a decade, no new coal-fired generators were added.

Though 4 GW of natural gas capacity was retired, 9.3 GW of new natural gas came online during 2017, with 8.2 GW of the total consisting of combined-cycle units.

At the same time, wind generation grew 12 percent and solar generation increased 46.9 percent. Now, wind made up of 6.3 percent of total net generation and solar reached 1.3 percent. Nearly 6.3 GW of wind turbines and 4.7 percent of solar systems were added in 2017

Hydroelectricity had another strong year, reaching 7.5 percent of total generation thanks to record precipitation in California.

Nuclear generation held nearly steady, falling by 0.1 percent.

For more details: Generation from Gas, Coal Fell in 2017 as Renewables Rose - Power Engineering

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