Following the hurricane damage to Gulf Coast infrastructure last year and the corresponding price spikes, natural gas consumption for power generation and thermal output plummeted 9% to 492.4 Bcf in October 2005 compared to the same month in 2004, the Energy Information Administration reported last week in its Electric Power Monthly publication. EIA said the bulk of the lost fuel was made up through a 43.1% increase in petroleum liquids consumption by generators. October 2005 net generation fell nearly 10% from September levels to 315 million MWh but was up 0.8% from October 2004 levels.
Compared to October 2004, coal-fired generation was up 3.1%, power from petroleum coke was up 5.6%, nuclear power was down 2.1% and gas-fired generation fell 3.9%. Hydro also declined 6.3%.
The 43.1% increase in generation from petroleum liquids, which include distillate fuel oil, residual fuel oil, jet fuel, kerosene and waste oil, was attributed to increased peaking loads due to hotter weather and fuel switching caused by the high price and tight supply of natural gas due to the Gulf of Mexico hurricanes.
EIA said as of October, year-to-date net power generation was up 1.8% and natural gas-fired generation was up 6.9%. Lower nuclear power was part of the reason gas-fired power increased. Coal-fired power year-to-date was up 2%.
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