Total Energy

Annual Energy Review

September 2012  PDF | previous editions
Release Date: September 27, 2012

Table A6. Approximate Heat Rates for Electricity, and Heat Content of Electricity, 1949-2011 (Btu per Kilowatthour)
Table A6.  Approximate Heat Rates for Electricity, and Heat Content of Electricity, 1949-2011
                      (Btu per Kilowatthour)




Year
Approximate Heat Rates 1 for Electricity Net Generation


Heat Content 10 of
Electricity 11
Fossil Fuels 2

Nuclear 8
Noncombustible
Renewable
Energy 7,9
Coal 3 Petroleum 4 Natural Gas 5 Total Fossil Fuels 6,7
1949 NA NA NA 15,033 - - 15,033 3,412
1950 NA NA NA 14,030 - - 14,030 3,412
1951 NA NA NA 13,641 - - 13,641 3,412
1952 NA NA NA 13,361 - - 13,361 3,412
1953 NA NA NA 12,889 - - 12,889 3,412
1954 NA NA NA 12,180 - - 12,180 3,412
1955 NA NA NA 11,699 - - 11,699 3,412
1956 NA NA NA 11,456 - - 11,456 3,412
1957 NA NA NA 11,365 11,629 11,365 3,412
1958 NA NA NA 11,085 11,629 11,085 3,412
1959 NA NA NA 10,970 11,629 10,970 3,412
1960 NA NA NA 10,760 11,629 10,760 3,412
1961 NA NA NA 10,650 11,629 10,650 3,412
1962 NA NA NA 10,558 11,629 10,558 3,412
1963 NA NA NA 10,482 11,877 10,482 3,412
1964 NA NA NA 10,462 11,912 10,462 3,412
1965 NA NA NA 10,453 11,804 10,453 3,412
1966 NA NA NA 10,415 11,623 10,415 3,412
1967 NA NA NA 10,432 11,555 10,432 3,412
1968 NA NA NA 10,398 11,297 10,398 3,412
1969 NA NA NA 10,447 11,037 10,447 3,412
1970 NA NA NA 10,494 10,977 10,494 3,412
1971 NA NA NA 10,478 10,837 10,478 3,412
1972 NA NA NA 10,379 10,792 10,379 3,412
1973 NA NA NA 10,389 10,903 10,389 3,412
1974 NA NA NA 10,442 11,161 10,442 3,412
1975 NA NA NA 10,406 11,013 10,406 3,412
1976 NA NA NA 10,373 11,047 10,373 3,412
1977 NA NA NA 10,435 10,769 10,435 3,412
1978 NA NA NA 10,361 10,941 10,361 3,412
1979 NA NA NA 10,353 10,879 10,353 3,412
1980 NA NA NA 10,388 10,908 10,388 3,412
1981 NA NA NA 10,453 11,030 10,453 3,412
1982 NA NA NA 10,454 11,073 10,454 3,412
1983 NA NA NA 10,520 10,905 10,520 3,412
1984 NA NA NA 10,440 10,843 10,440 3,412
1985 NA NA NA 10,447 10,622 10,447 3,412
1986 NA NA NA 10,446 10,579 10,446 3,412
1987 NA NA NA 10,419 10,442 10,419 3,412
1988 NA NA NA 10,324 10,602 10,324 3,412
1989 NA NA NA 10,432 10,583 10,432 3,412
1990 NA NA NA 10,402 10,582 10,402 3,412
1991 NA NA NA 10,436 10,484 10,436 3,412
1992 NA NA NA 10,342 10,471 10,342 3,412
1993 NA NA NA 10,309 10,504 10,309 3,412
1994 NA NA NA 10,316 10,452 10,316 3,412
1995 NA NA NA 10,312 10,507 10,312 3,412
1996 NA NA NA 10,340 10,503 10,340 3,412
1997 NA NA NA 10,213 10,494 10,213 3,412
1998 NA NA NA 10,197 10,491 10,197 3,412
1999 NA NA NA 10,226 10,450 10,226 3,412
2000 NA NA NA 10,201 10,429 10,201 3,412
2001 10,378 10,742 10,051 10,333 10,443 10,333 3,412
2002 10,314 10,641 9,533 10,173 10,442 10,173 3,412
2003 10,297 10,610 9,207 10,241 10,421 10,241 3,412
2004 10,331 10,571 8,647 10,022 10,427 10,022 3,412
2005 10,373 10,631 8,551 9,999 10,436 9,999 3,412
2006 10,351 10,809 8,471 9,919 10,436 9,919 3,412
2007 10,375 10,794 8,403 9,884 10,485 9,884 3,412
2008 10,378 11,015 8,305 9,854 10,453 9,854 3,412
2009 10,414 10,923 8,160 9,760 10,460 9,760 3,412
2010 10,415 10,984 8,185 R 9,756 R 10,452 R 9,756 3,412
2011 E 10,415 E 10,984 E 8,185 E 9,756 E 10,452 E 9,756 3,412
1The values in columns 1-6 of this table are for net heat rates.  See "Heat Rate" in Glossary. 8Used as the thermal conversion factor for nuclear electricity net generation.
2Through 2000, heat rates are for fossil-fueled steam-electric plants at electric utilities.  Beginning in
2001, heat rates are for all fossil-fueled plants at electric utilities and electricity-only independent power
producers.
9Technology-based geothermal heat rates are no longer used in Btu calculations in this report.  For
technology-based geothermal heat rates for 1960-2010, see the Annual Energy Review 2010, Table A6.
3Includes anthracite, bituminous coal, subbituminous coal, lignite, and, beginning in 2002, waste coal
and coal synfuel.
10See "Heat Content" in Glossary. 
4Includes distillate fuel oil, residual fuel oil, jet fuel, kerosene, petroleum coke, and waste oil. 11The value of 3,412 Btu per kilowatthour is a constant.  It is used as the thermal conversion factor for
electricity retail sales, and electricity imports and exports.
5Includes natural gas and supplemental gaseous fuels. R=Revised.  E=Estimate.  NA=Not available.  - - =Not applicable.  
6Includes coal, petroleum, natural gas, and, beginning in 2001, other gases (blast furnace gas, propane
gas, and other manufactured and waste gases derived from fossil fuels).
Web Page:  See http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/#appendices for updated annual
conversion factors.
7The fossil-fuels heat rate is used as the thermal conversion factor for electricity net generation from
noncombustible renewable energy (hydro, geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic, and wind) to
approximate the quantity of fossil fuels replaced by these sources.  Through 2000, also used as the thermal
conversion factor for wood and waste electricity net generation at electric utilities; beginning in 2001, Btu
data for wood and waste at electric utilities are available from surveys.
Sources:  See "Thermal Conversion Factor Source Documentation," which follows this table.
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