Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blockbuster Power Plant Month: Huge Amount Of New Generation Capacity Added In May & 72% Is Natural Gas

America typically adds 15,000 to 20,000 megawatts of new generation every year or about 1,500 megawatts on average per month.  Though America has added as much as 70,000 megawatts of new generation in a single year, any year in which more than 30,000 megawatts is added is unusual.

During May, America added 3,488 megawatts of new generation capacity added across America, making it a blockbuster month. Gas-fired generation accounted for 72% or 2,529 megawatts of that massive total.  See page 3.

From January to May in 2013, 4,097 megawatts of new gas-fired generation has been added. That represents about a 25% increase over the same period in 2012.

The rest of May's new generation came mainly from a single coal plant coming on line. The plant is the only new coal plant to begin operations in 2013, but it is big, having a capacity of 925 megawatts.

So will 2013 be one of those rare years when new electricity generation exceeds 30,000 megawatts? No.

From January to May, a total of 7,102 megawatts of new generation was built, and the country is on course to install this year between 15,000 to 20,000 megawatts, the normal annual range. All the new generation that has begun operations in 2013 is either gas or renewable energy, with the exception of the single coal plant that started operating in May.

The present and future of new power plants in America remain almost completely gas and renewable energy plants! That makes America totally different from China, India, and many parts of the world, where coal continues to gain ground.

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