Natural gas generation is the big loser in electricity markets, with gas output down 100 billion kilowatt-hours through July, a 13.9% decrease. But what is displacing natural gas generation?
Coal, wind, and lower demand together have cut the output of natural gas power plants by about 102 billion kilowatt-hours. Coal generation is up 64 billion kilowatt-hours. Wind is up 17.5 billion kilowatt-hours. Total electricity demand is down 17.5 billion kilowatt-hours. That adds up to about what gas has lost.
Gas has lost power sales during 2013, mainly because its price has risen above $3.25 to $3.50 per thousand cubic feet for most of this year. Yet, very recent declines in gas prices once again has improved the competitiveness of gas with coal. Coal-gas competition for sales remains intense and trends are fluid.