Electricity Prices Fell in 2016 – Thanks to Shale Gas

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is fresh out with analysis of wholesale electricity prices in 2016 and finds electric prices were down for the year primarily because of the low price of natural gas–and the switching currently under way from coal to natgas. EIA says for the first 10 months of last year electric generating plants paid an average of $2.78/Mcf (thousand cubic feet) for natgas–down 17% from the same period in 2015. Because of the ongoing switching from coal to natgas, EIA says electricity generated from natgas power plants rose 6% in the first 10 months compared to the same period a year earlier. The truly astonishing factoid from EIA: “Natural gas was the primary source of U.S. electricity generation (when measured on an annual basis) in 2016 for the first time.” Here’s the full EIA analysis…

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