EIA: New England summer electricity whole prices to increase

US Energy Information Administration EIA August Short Term Energy Outlook natural gas coal wind hydropower

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is expecting summer electricity prices in the Northeast to average about 2.7 percent higher than summer 2012, according to the administrations August 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.

“The Northeast experienced a strong heat wave during mid-July, causing the peak electricity load in the state of New York to approach record levels,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said. “The heat wave also caused temporary spikes in wholesale electricity prices. State retail rate regulations shield many residential customers from price swings in the wholesale power market, but EIA expects summer retail electricity prices in the Northeast to average about 2.7 percent higher than last summer, primarily as a result of higher fuel costs paid by generators.”

Summer temperatures in other areas of the U.S. have been cooler than next year, but U.S. retail sales of electricity to the residential sector during 2013 is expected to average 1.3 percent more than 2012, with the lower summer consumption eing offset by higher consumption during non-summer months.

The report also estimates coal-fired power generation to have a 39.2 percent share of total generation during the first half of 2013, increasing to 41.4 percent in the second half of the year. Both are increases over 2012, when coal averaged 35.4 percent in the first half of the year and 39.3 percent in the second half. Natural gas is expected to provide an average of 27.4 percent of power generation during 2013, down from providing 30.4 percent in 2012.

The EIA is expecting a growth in renewable power sources, according to the report. Although hydropower is expected to decline by 4.2 percent in 2013, nonhydropower renewable used for electricity and heat generation are expected to grow by an average of 8.1 percent in 2013. Total renewable energy sources are expected to continue at 4.2 percent in 2014 with a 3.1 percent increase in hydropower and a 4.9 percent increase in nonhydropower sources.

Although wind power capacity is expected to increase 5 percent this year, electricity generation from wind is projected to increase by 19 percent in 2013 as capacity that came online at the end of 2012 is available for the entire year.

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