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US power generation to fall in 2012, EIA says

7 Aug 2012, 9.41 pm GMT

Washington, 7 August (Argus) — Total US electricity generation in 2012 will fall 0.4pc from 2011 and natural gas will narrow coal's lead as the dominant fuel.

Generation fueled by natural gas will increase 23.2pc this year while coal generation is projected to fall 12.1pc, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook released today. Coal will account for 37.3pc of generation in 2012, compared with 42.2pc in 2011. Natural gas will rise to 30.6pc from 24.8pc in 2011.

However, higher natural gas prices relative to coal prices in 2013 will cause a slight reversal. The agency projects coal generation in 2013 will be 37.7pc, compared with a natural gas share of 29.2pc.

Many parts of the country experienced record temperatures this summer and cooling degree-days during July 2012 were about 25pc higher than the 30-year average but about the same as July 2011.

The EIA estimates retail sales of electricity to the residential sector during the first half of 2012 were about 6.4pc lower than the same period in 2011, as a result of mild winter temperatures. Residential sales for the entire year are projected to average about 3pc lower than 2011 sales.

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