You'll Never Believe Where Our Electricity Still Comes From
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- Youll Never Believe Where Our Electricity Still Comes From
- Today, We Live in a Modern World
- Google Is Driving Cars for Us
- And Tesla Runs Cars on Electricity
- But Where Does Our Electricity Come From?
- Solar? 74% of new electricity came from solar in Q1 2014 Utilities photovoltaic solar capacity grew 171% between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014 Total solar capacity is expected to grow 39% year over year for 2014
- Nope. Only 0.23% of total electricity came from solar in 2013.
- Wind? Offshore wind can power our nation -- four times over On March 26, wind power provided 29% of Texas total electricity load General Electric (NYSE: GE) cited wind turbines as one of its fastest-growing businesses for 2013
- Nope. Only 4.13% of total electricity came from solar in 2013.
- Natural Gas? Natural gas-generated electricity soared 59% between 2003 and 2013. In 2007 (and every year since), natural gas-generated electricity surpassed nuclear-generated electricity.
- Nope. Just 27% of total electricity came from natural gas in 2013.
- Coal Despite increasingly stringent environmental regulations, coal continues to hang on as our nations largest electricity source. 39% of our electricity begins its life as a lump of coal.
- Coal Despite regulatory expenses, coal is still cheap:
- Coal And for utilities that produce power close to its sources (Midwest and Appalachia), coal remains an essential piece of their energy portfolio.
- Coal FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) generates 57% of its electricity from coal.
- Coal And to help keep regulatory costs low, its scrubbing the majority of its coal to keep Uncle Sam satisfied.
- Coal FirstEnergys coal- fired power plants in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania are well positioned to keep transportation costs low.
- Coal American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) relies on coal for a similarly large 60% of its 38,000 MW of generation. AEPs 600 MW Arkansas coal- fired power plant uses new combustion technology to reduce emissions and increase efficiency.
- Coal AEP had previously announced that it estimated its coal dependency to drop to 46% of its generation portfolio in 2020. But in April, the utility revised that number back up to 51%, potentially because of both natural gas price increases and AEPs new coal technology advancements.
- The Future The future of coal is still far from clear. But like it or not, it remains an integral part of our energy system. And as long as it makes the most economic sense for companies such as FirstEnergy and AEP to keep pulling power from coal, theyll keep doing exactly that.
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