Total net U.S. power generation, Henry Hub natural gas prices and coal consumption all increased in September of this year compared to the same month in 2012, according to figures released by the Energy information Administration.
Total net generation for September was 340,169 (thousand MWh) or a 1.6% increase over the ninth month of 2012.
That’s according to EIA’s Electricity Monthly Update issued Nov. 22.
The residential retail power price was up (1.5%) as were retail sales (1%) and cooling degree days (5.5%), according to EIA.
The most glaring jump, however, was the $3.72/mmBtu natural gas price recorded at the Henry Hub. That’s a 26.1% increase over September 2012. That’s probably one reason that gas consumption was down 6.9% and coal consumption was up 4.8%.
Coal stockpiles were down 14.9% from the elevated levels of September 2012, EIA said.
Nuclear generation was actually up 2%. Only 8,253 MW of nuclear capacity was affected by nuclear outages in September 2013, a 34.8% decrease from September 2012.
The report noted that New England experienced hot weather Sept. 11 and 12 that caused whole electricity prices to spike to $181/MWh and $89/MWh on respective days.
For the first time in four months, the prices for natural gas at both Henry Hub and New York City were above the price of Central Appalachian coal when measured on an mmBtu basis, EIA said.