Northeast Sees Stronger Growth in Natural Gas-Fired Generation, Says EIA
Natural gas-fired generation has increased in most U.S. regions since 2015, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Friday.
Annual gas-fired generation increased by 31% in the Northeast from 2015 to 2019, by 20% in the Central region and by 17% in the South, EIA said. Gas-fired generation in the West remained relatively flat in that time period, EIA said.
The largest percentage increases occurred in the Northeast and Central regions because of their proximity to the Appalachian production area, including from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Low-priced gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales “have made it more economical to generate electricity using natural gas instead of coal,” EIA said.
That trend has been most pronounced in regions with competition between coal and gas generators, especially in the power grids overseen by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator in the Central region and the PJM Interconnection in the Northeast, EIA added.
“When natural gas and coal are similarly priced on a cost-per-energy-content basis, most natural gas-fired generators can produce electricity more efficiently than coal-fired generators, providing an economic advantage in electricity markets,” researchers said.