While non-hydro renewable-derived electricity’s share of the power grid has grown, natural gas’ share is growing by more—and as power demand itself has risen.
Oil and Gas Investor
Total U.S. wind production in February was 23,047 thousand MWh. Pictured are thousands of wind turbines in Mojave, Calif. (Source: Shutterstock.com)
This summer, odds are 40% that any light switch in the U.S. is powered by natural gas—or, as the grid is source-indifferent, that 40% of the power is derived from natural gas. That’s up from a 35% chance during the summer of 2015 and 14% in 1997, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Odds that power’s coming from wind, solar and other non-hydro renewables are 9%, with wind’s share alone being 6%, up from less than 1% in 1997. As for coal, there’s a 25% chance, down from 28% last summer.
Nissa Darbonne is author of The American Shales and has been a journalist since 1984, beginning in the oil and gas fields of South Louisiana. She writes for Oil and Gas Investor and is actively involved in Hart's conference agendas.