Power demand started strong this year but, has shown weaker demand in recent months compared to the same months in 2012, according to Genscape's Generation Fuel Monitor Report. A weaker May and June have pushed year-to-date power demand back to within 0.11% of 2012.
The strongest above-average temperature anomalies shifted from the Plains (June 2012) to the Southwest (June 2013). The Midwest was generally cooler year-over-year, driving weaker cooling load this June. Month-over-month average daily power demand increased 15 percent as summer temperatures began to creep in. The majority of the demand increase was met by a 22 percent increase in average daily natural gas consumption on a MWh basis and a 19 percent increase in coal-fired generation.
Renewable generation was down for the second month in a row at – 4 percent. The major driver of this decrease in renewable generation was stronger coal and gas consumption in the west, which helped offset the natural depletion of the hydro supply from the spring melt. Genscape’s monitored hydro generation in the Northwest was down -6 percent month-over-month and -14 percent year-over-year.
Year-to-date, coal continues to lead the way, accounting for 39 percent of the national supply stack. In June, gas gained some ground averaging 30 percent of supply, but for the year it still trails averaging 27 percent. A year ago coal accounted for 35 percent of supply with gas making up 30 percent. Prompt-month natural gas prices closed Friday at $3.57/MMBtu. At this level, Genscape estimates only delivered coal to the Southeast remains out of the money at $4.45/MMBtu to $4.51/MMBtu.
Genscape’s Generation Fuel Monitor Report offers daily views of fuel consumption at U.S. power plants for all power sector fuels: coal, gas, hydro, wind, nuclear and oil. To learn more or register for a free trial at info.genscape.com/fuelmonitor-press.