Generation Shares by Fuel Type: Regulated and Deregulated States

Michael Giberson

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Courtesy of industry thinker Jeffrey D. Roark comes this contribution to understanding some of the differences between power produced in “regulated” and “deregulated” states. Click on the image to see a larger version. Charts were developed using the EIA data cited in the image.

Roark draws attention to two points: first, that the deregulated states rely much more heavily on gas relative to the regulated states, and second, that deregulated states are net energy importers as a group.

I would guess gas is big in deregulated states in part because the post-restructuring boom in generator construction coincided with a period of relatively low gas prices. Just a guess. Actually, to expand and emphasize Roark’s first point, the deregulated states feature a higher relative use of generation in nearly every category except coal. Coal is “huge” in the regulated states, and merely “big” in the the deregulated states.

I wonder if “Power in the Public Interest” has looked at emissions per MWh in regulated and deregulated states?

On the second point, I would speculate that it is related to a broader issue. The states that chose to restructure their electric power industry regulations were predominantly higher-cost states. These states were probably net energy importers even before they restructured. Before reading too much into the fact that the deregulated states are net energy importers, I’d want to look at the trend over the last twenty years or so.


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