2009 reports indicate massive drop in power generation
EIA is reporting that total generation in 2009 was down by over 4%, dropping to 2003 levels. Additionally, the reduction is noted as the largest decline in generation suffered in over sixty years. As expected, the primary reason for the drop was the depressed economy and related decreases in both industrial and residential energy demand. The direct link between energy production and economic well-being was clearly reinforced last year. As industrial electrical demand decreased 9.1% (the lowest level since 1987), overall industrial output decreased by 9.3%.
The depressed economy was not the only factor in changing energy use and generation patterns, however. The specter of impending environmental restrictions, along with rapidly dropping natural gas prices, and mild winter temperatures caused many pending generation developments to be put on hold and widespread fuel switching.
The full Electric Power Annual report can be viewed and download on the Energy Information Administration website.