Grid's Rebound

Electricity sales this May were seven and two-tenths percent less than in May of last year. What an air ball for the industry! But since this May, in June and then again in July, it’s been nothing but net!

Electricity sales in the continental U.S. were actually seven tenths of a percent more this June than in June of last year, according to Database Utilities Fortnightly. And electricity sales were a nearly identical six tenths of a percent more this July than in July of last year. Notwithstanding the coronavirus crisis.

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Though the grid moved four hundred and six million megawatt-hours in July, coal plants produced just ninety million of that total. That’s a twenty-two and six-tenths percent market share for coal generation. And an eight and a half percent decrease in coal plant production as compared with July of last year.

Carbon intensity is down this summer though by not as much as in the spring. For example, this May, the grid’s carbon intensity fell all the way to seven tenths of a pound of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. Whereas this July, the grid’s carbon intensity is back up to nine tenths of a pound of carbon dioxide.

Why? Because with greater electricity sales in the summertime, and with less wind generation, coal and natural gas plants are generally being run harder.

So, you could say that the grid is now driving the lane into the paint, down at the NBA’s b-ball in a bubble.