Natural Gas Generation Rises to New High in July

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Power produced with natural gas reached an all-time high in July, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

In its short-term energy outlook, the agency found that gas-fired power plants generated 4,950 gigawatt-hours of power each day in July, up 9 percent from the previous record high set in July 2015. The increase was driven by warmer weather, which boosted the use electricity, and low gas prices.

Natural gas will overtake coal as the leading source of power generation this year, accounting for 34.3 percent of all generation, according to EIA’s report. Coal’s share of the generation pie will be 30.3 percent in 2016. Nuclear and renewable resources will account for 19.4 percent and 14.8 percent of generation, respectively, this year.

In 2017, the amount of natural gas used for power production will drop slightly to 33.3 percent because of slightly higher gas prices. Coal’s share of total U.S. generation is expected to rise slightly to 31.1 percent in 2017, according to the report.

Meanwhile, residential sales of retail power in 2016 will be 0.6 percent lower than 2015, the report estimated. 

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