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Sep 16, 2019

EIA releases plant-level U.S. biodiesel production capacity data

U.S. biodiesel production capacity by region
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity Report

On September 13, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its first annual U.S. Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity Report. The report includes the total biodiesel production capacity for all operating plants in both million gallons per year (gal/y) and barrels per day (b/d) as of January 1, 2019. The names of the reporting plants are organized by Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD). Like the Ethanol Plant Production Capacity Report, EIA plans to update the report annually.

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Sep 13, 2019

Coal shipments to the U.S. power sector continue to fall

U.S. coal shipments to the electric power sector by transport mode
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-923, Power Plant Operations Report
Note: Other includes pipeline, other waterway, Great Lakes barge, tidewater pier, and coastal ports. Multimode rail includes some movement over railways; multimode nonrail uses multiple modes that do not include railway.

Nearly 600 million short tons (MMst) of coal was shipped to the U.S. electric power sector in 2018, the lowest level since 1983. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) power sector surveys, more than 75% of the coal delivered to the power sector last year was shipped either completely or in part by rail; the remainder was shipped by river barge, truck, and other methods.

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Sep 12, 2019

U.S. natural gas production reaches a new record despite low prices

Daily U.S. natural gas production estimates and forecasted monthly averages
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook; IHS Markit

U.S. natural gas production continued to increase in August, setting a new daily production record of 92.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) on August 19, 2019, according to estimates from IHS Markit. Natural gas production also set a new monthly record in August, averaging more than 91 Bcf/d for the first time. In the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), released on September 10, 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts dry natural gas production to average 93.4 Bcf/d from September through the end of the year. U.S. natural gas production increased by 7.1 Bcf/d (8%) between August 2018 and August 2019, led by production gains primarily in the Northeast.

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Sep 11, 2019

The nonmetallic minerals industry is one of the world’s top energy users

nonmetallic minerals industry inputs and users
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on World Input-Output Database
Note: Dollar values are expressed in 2010 U.S. dollars, converted based on purchasing power parity.

The industrial sector is the largest energy end-use sector by consumption in the world, accounting for about 55% of world delivered energy in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency. In the industrial sector, the nonmetallic minerals industry is one of the largest energy users, accounting for 10% of global industrial sector energy use. The nonmetallic minerals industry uses a large amount of process heat (primarily in ovens and kilns), which links the industry to the global energy system.

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Sep 10, 2019

Time between drilling and first production has little effect on oil well production

Production from crude oil wells initially drilled in 2014 through 2017 in North Dakota
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Oil and Gas Division

According to North Dakota production data, the length of time that an oil well has been drilled but remains uncompleted—meaning it has not yet started producing—has little effect on its initial production level. Oil wells are sometimes drilled but remain uncompleted for other operational or economic reasons. The North Dakota data provides insights into oil well completion practices.

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Sep 9, 2019

Natural gas-fired power generation has grown in Florida, displacing coal

Florida power capacity changes and U.S. natural gas capacity additions
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860M, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory

Florida added nearly 16 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale natural gas-fired electric generation between 2008 and 2018, about one-quarter (24%) of all U.S. natural gas installations during this time and the most of any state. During the same period, electric utility net generation in Florida grew about 15%, increasing natural gas’s share of the in-state generation fuel mix from nearly half (47%) to three-fourths (72%) of the total. EIA expects natural gas-fired generation capacity to continue to grow, displacing more emissions-intensive and less cost-competitive generation fuel sources such as coal and petroleum liquids.

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Sep 6, 2019

Permian Basin natural gas prices up as a new pipeline nears completion

Henry Hub and Waha natural gas spot prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Natural Gas Intelligence

Natural gas spot prices at the Waha hub in western Texas, located near Permian Basin production, settled at $1.55/million British thermal units (MMBtu) on August 15, the highest price since March 2019. This price increase coincides with the 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) Gulf Coast Express Pipeline (GCX) preparing to enter service. GCX will provide much-needed additional natural gas takeaway pipeline capacity from the Permian region of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

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Sep 5, 2019

Electric generation transforms primary energy into secondary energy

U.S. electricity flow, 2018
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review
Note: Click for full U.S. electricity flow 2018 diagram. Conversion losses include 3.9 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) that result from generation from noncombustible renewable energy sources (hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind energy) for fossil fuel equivalence.

In 2018, U.S. utility-scale electricity generation facilities consumed nearly 39 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of energy to provide 13 quads of electricity for end-use consumption. Of the 101 quads of total primary energy consumed in 2018, U.S. electricity generation accounted for more than 38% of total end-use consumption. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. electricity flow diagram visualizes U.S. electricity flow from energy sources consumed to generate electricity and electricity net imports to disposition (conversion and other losses, plant use, and end-use consumption).

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Sep 4, 2019

North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming consume the most residential energy per capita

U.S. residential energy consumption per capita
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System

In 2017, people in the United States consumed an average of 61 million British thermal units (Btu) of energy per capita in the residential sector, a 2% decrease from 2016 and the lowest level since 1967. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Key Statistics and Indicators section of the State Energy Data System (SEDS) show that in 2017, North Dakota had the highest residential energy consumption per capita of any state at 91.5 million Btu and Hawaii had the lowest at 23.9 million Btu.

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Sep 3, 2019

Average U.S. construction costs for solar generation continue to decrease

capacity-weighted average construction costs for electricity generators
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Construction Cost Data for Electric Generators

According to 2017 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) for newly constructed utility-scale electric generators in the United States, annual capacity-weighted average construction costs for solar photovoltaic systems continued to decrease. At the same time, costs for onshore wind turbines and natural gas generators increased slightly. These three generation technologies accounted for more than 97% of total capacity added to the grid in the United States in 2017. Since 2013, average costs for solar photovoltaic generators have fallen by 37%, wind by 13%, and natural gas by 4.7%. Total investment in U.S. electric generating capacity in 2017 decreased by 27% from the previous year.

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