Wind, natural gas electricity generation to increase 6% in 2019

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 293 views 

Natural gas-fired electricity generation in the United States is projected to rise 6% in 2019 and 2% in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Generation from wind power is expected to increase by 6% in 2019 and 14% in 2020.

Growth in natural gas generation is expected to be the highest in the mid-Atlantic region, and growth in wind generation is projected to be highest in Texas. Coal-fired electricity generation is projected to fall 15% in 2019 and 9% in 2020.

In the mid-Atlantic region, which is mostly in the PJM Interconnection transmission area, the electricity industry has added more than 12 gigawatts of natural gas-fired generating capacity since the start of 2018, resulting in an increase of 17%. This new capacity has replaced some coal-fired generating capacity: 6 gigawatts of coal-fired generation capacity has been retired in the region since the start of 2018.

Natural gas is expected to fuel 39% of electricity generation in the PJM region in 2020, up from a share of 31% in 2018, according to the EIA. Coal is expected to generate 20% of PJM electricity in 2020, down from 28% in 2018. In 2010, coal-fueled 54% of electricity generation in the region, and natural gas generated 11%.

In recent years, wind power has been the fastest-growing electricity source in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas region that serves most of Texas. The electricity industry has added 3 gigawatts of wind generating capacity since the start of 2018 and has plans to add another 7 gigawatts by the end of 2020. The additions would lead to an increase of nearly 50% from the wind capacity level in the region in 2017. Wind is expected to supply 20% of the region’s total generation in 2019 and 24% in 2020. If achieved, wind would generate the same electricity share in the region that coal does, and the share of wind generation would exceed coal in 2020.

Natural gas-fired generation in the region has fluctuated recently as a result of changes in the cost of fuel. The Henry Hub natural gas price is projected to fall 21% in 2019, and as a result, the region’s share of natural gas generation is projected to rise to 47% in 2019, from 45% in 2018. Natural gas prices are expected to be flat in 2020, and the large increase in renewable energy generation is projected to reduce the region’s share of natural gas generation to 41%.