Friday, December 13, 2013

Rare Fact: Generation Retirements Exceeding New Generation Capacity In 2013

In the electricity industry, the earth is moving.  Gone are the days when electricity consumption increased like clock work.

And gone are the days when the amount of new generation normally exceeded the amount of generation that retired. This year, retirements just might exceed the amount of new generation capacity coming on line.

"So far this year (through October 2013), the electricity industry has added 10.0 gigawatts (GW)
of new generating capacity.  Much of this new capacity (6.2 GW) is fueled by natural gas.
Renewable energy sources are used in 2.3 GW of the new capacity while two new coal plants
(1.5 GW) have also started producing electricity this year.  However, these new sources for
power generation have been more than offset by 11.1 GW of retired capacity.  Coal-fired and
nuclear plants comprise the largest proportion of year-to-date retired capacity (3.8 GW and 3.6
GW, respectively).  A total of 2.3 GW of natural-gas-fired capacity has been retired so far this

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