Electric generation up for year, despite July decline

Total net US electricity generated rose 2% in the first 7 months of this year, compared to 1999, despite a 4% decline in July, government analysts said Tuesday. Generation from coal, nuclear, and gas gained 4%, 7%, and 10% respectively from January-July, compared to same period in 1999. Total net generation for the seven month period was 2,192 billion kw-hr. Electric generation declined to 356 kw-hr in July on cool weather, 4% below the amount reported in July 1999.


Total net US electricity generated rose 2% in the first 7 months of this year, compared to 1999, despite a 4% decline in July, government analysts said Tuesday.

Generation from coal, nuclear, and gas gained 4%, 7%, and 10% respectively from January-July, compared to same period in 1999. Total net generation for the seven month period was 2,192 billion kw-hr.

Electric generation declined to 356 kw-hr in July on cool weather in the Midwest and Northeast, 4% below the amount reported in July 1999.

Electric utilities generated 279 billion kw-hr and nonutility power producers generated 78 billion kw-hr. Coal continues to be the primary fuel used by utilities and gas is the clear favorite among independent power producers.

Total July sales of electricity to ultimate US consumers declined 1% to 319 billion kw-hr from July 1999. The residential sector had sales of 120 billion kw-hr, down 3% from July 1999

Compared to July 1999, retail sales of electricity in the commercial sector were 2% higher, while industrial sector sales were 2% lower than reported in July 1999.

The government said June receipts of coal at electric utilities totaled 65 million short tons, down 9 million short tons from the level reported in June 1999. Analysts blamed the decrease on the sale and reclassification of utility plants as nonutility plants.

Plants recently reclassified as nonutility and no longer required to report fuel receipts to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission include those operated by Metropolitan Edison Co., Pennsylvania Electric Co., Commonwealth Edison Co., Montana Power Co., Cajun Electric Power Cooperative, Duquesne Light Co., and West Penn Power Co.

June receipts of petroleum totaled 11 million barrels, down 1 million barrels from June 1999. While the sale and reclassification of plants has reduced fuel oil receipts, government analysts at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said a portion of the decrease was due to rising fuel oil costs compared to June 1999.

The average delivered cost of fuel oil in June 2000 was $4.44/MMbtu,up from $2.41/MMbtu reported in June 1999.

June natural gas receipts totaled 269 bcf, down from 278 bcf reported in June 1999. The average cost of gas delivered to electric utilities nearly doubled to $4.46/MMbtu, from $2.48/MMbtu reported in June 1999. EIA said this is the highest monthly average cost for gas reported by electric utilities since data collection began in 1972.

However, the agency said the sale and reclassification of electric plants is having a substantial affect on gas data presented at the New England, mid-Atlantic, and Pacific contiguous census divisions, as well as at the national level.

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