What's Your Utility IQ?

Question: What percentage of the nation's wind generation comes from the four states of Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas?

Answer: 52.9 percent. Add in five more states - California, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado - and you're over three-quarters of all wind generation, virtually all in the country's middle.


Question: What percentage of the nation's solar photovoltaic generation - utility-scale and distributed - comes from the four states of California, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada?

Answer: 64.8 percent, over two-thirds of which comes from California. Solar PV outside of California is just nine tenths of one percent of the generation in the other forty-nine states.


Question: What percentage of utility revenue comes from the nation's industrial customers?

Answer: 16.6 percent, just one-sixth of all utility revenue. The number of industrial customers fell nearly three percent in 2016. Industrials are now only a half of one percent of all customers. 


Question: What is the capacity factor of the nation's coal plants?

Answer: 52.7 percent, utilization of slightly over half of available capacity. Coal capacity factor fell nearly four percent in 2016, and nearly fourteen percent over the past two years. During the same period, natural gas capacity factor rose sixteen percent, and now exceeds coal capacity factor.


Question: What is the capacity factor of utility-scale wind and solar photovoltaic?

Answer: 34.7 percent for wind, a little over one-third of available capacity, and 27.2 percent for solar, a little over one-quarter of capacity. 


Question: What percentage of the nation's electricity is generated by residential solar?

Answer: 0.3 percent, which while small is up from the prior year when it was two-tenths of one percent. 


Check out PUF Quant Services in our new mid-month digital mag PUF 2.0 for more unique insightful stats. The now twice-monthly Public Utilities Fortnightly.

Steve Mitnick, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly

E-mail me: mitnick@fortnightly.com