Thursday, April 26, 2012

Signposts: "Natural gas surpasses coal in Southern Co.'s energy mix" (SO)

The transition is happening but not nearly fast enough to save the soon-to-be-new-front-month June futures.
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
If there ever was a king of coal-fired electricity, it was Southern Co.

The Atlanta-based utility, the owner of Georgia Power and three other Southeast utilities, got 70 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants as recently as five years ago. Only 16 percent of Southern’s power came from natural gas then.

Now, environmental mandates and cheap natural gas prices have led to a dramatic shift in Southern’s energy mix: This year the utility will get 47 percent of its fuel from natural gas and 35 percent from coal, Chief Executive Tom Fanning said.

“We’ve cut coal in half,” Fanning told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The amount of natural gas that Southern buys now accounts for more than 2 percent of U.S. natural gas consumption, making the company the third-largest user of natural gas in the utility industry behind South Florida’s NextEra Energy and Calpine, based in Houston. Southern serves a territory that is slightly smaller than the entire country of Australia....MORE