According to new data released this week by our favorite government agency, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania accounted for 25% of new clean-burning natural gas electric power generation added last year.
According to analysis of state data done by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, PA residents today realize between $1,100 – $2,200 on average, each and every year, in home energy savings, thanks to Marcellus Shale gas.
The good news on more natgas electric in PA leading to lower costs and less pollution, from our friends at the MSC:
Pennsylvania accounted for one-quarter of the growth in highly efficient, clean natural gas power generation last year, according to new federal data released this morning. In fact, more than 60 percent of the electric generating capacity installed in the U.S. in 2018 was fueled by clean, domestic natural gas.
Specifically, facilities like Tenaska’s Westmoreland Generating Station or Invenergy’s Lackawanna Energy Centerhave come online recently, with both plants using locally sourced natural gas to generate reliable, around-the-clock affordable energy for more than 2 million homes. In Pennsylvania, there are 19 natural gas power generation projects in development, under construction or recently brought online totaling over 16,700 MW of generating capacity and $12.6 billion of private capital investment into the state.
Nationally, the federal government’s long-term projections indicate that most of the U.S. electricity capacity additions through 2050 will be natural gas combined-cycle or solar facilities.
As domestically produced natural gas generates an increasingly larger share of power generation, consumers are realizing meaningful energy savings and Pennsylvania is making historic air quality progress. According to MSC analysis of state data, consumers are realizing $1,100 – $2,200 on average annually in home energy savings. And harmful air pollutants, like SOx and NOx have plummeted dramatically as clean natural gas is increasingly used to generate electricity.
Based on EIA’s December 2018 monthly electric generator inventory of utility-scale generation, 31.3 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity were added in the United States in 2018 and 18.7 GW of capacity were retired. The 2018 annual capacity additions were the largest since 48.8 GW were added in 2003. Most of the additions happened in the second half of the year, while the retirements occurred mostly in the first half.
U.S. utility-scale additions in 2018 primarily consisted of natural gas (62%), wind (21%), and solar photovoltaic (16%) capacity. The remaining 2% of additions came primarily from hydroelectric and battery storage capacity.
- Natural gas. Almost 90% of the 19.3 GW of the natural gas-fired capacity in the United States added in 2018 were combined-cycle generators, the most efficient natural gas-fired generating technology. Pennsylvania accounted for almost 25% (4.4 GW) of all 2018 domestic natural gas additions, and three other states—Maryland, Virginia, and Florida—accounted for about 30%.
- Wind. In 2018, 6.6 GW of wind capacity came online, almost 60% (3.8 GW) of which was added in December. Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma added a combined 4.0 GW of wind capacity, more than 60% of total U.S. wind additions.
- Solar. About 60% of the 4.9 GW of U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) additions in 2018 occurred in California (1.1 GW), Florida (1.0 GW), and North Carolina (0.6 GW). These numbers only represent utility-scale solar and do not include small-scale PV.
The 18.7 GW of U.S. generating capacity that retired in 2018 were primarily coal (69%), natural gas (25%), and nuclear (3%) generators, with the remainder composed mostly of hydroelectric and petroleum generating capacity.
- Coal. A total of 12.9 GW of coal-fired capacity was retired in 2018. Nearly 80% of coal retirements came from units located in only four states—Texas (4.3 GW), Ohio (2.3 GW), Florida (2.0 GW), and Wisconsin (1.7 GW).
- Natural gas. Although 4.7 GW of U.S. natural gas-fired capacity retired in 2018, 93% (4.4 GW) of those retirements were from natural gas steam and combustion turbine units, which are less efficient natural gas-fired generating technologies that typically operate at lower capacity factors than more efficient combined-cycle units.
- Nuclear. New Jersey was the only state to retire nuclear capacity, retiring 0.6 GW of capacity when the Oyster Creek plant retired in September 2018.
Principal contributor: Kenneth Dubin (2)
(1) Marcellus Shale Coalition (Mar 11, 2019) – Pa. Leads Nation in Clean, Affordable Natural Gas Power Generation Growth
(2) U.S. Energy Information Administration – Today in Energy (Mar 11, 2019) – More than 60% of electric generating capacity installed in 2018 was fueled by natural gas
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