1

Geothermal and Other3 0.19

Gross Generation of Electricity by Utilities 10.04

Utility Purchases of Electricity from Nonutility Power Producers 0.57

Imported Electricity 0.13

Exported Electricity 0.03

Unaccounted For 0.12

Deliveries to Other Nonutility Power Producers 0.03

Utility Purchases of Electricity from Nonutility Power Producers 0.57

Imported Electricity 0.13

Exported Electricity 0.03

Unaccounted For 0.12

Nonutility Power Producers

"y> Gross Generation of Electricity 1.01

Receipts from Other Producers 0.28

Nonutility Power Producers

"y> Gross Generation of Electricity 1.01

Receipts from Other Producers 0.28

Deliveries to Other Nonutility Power Producers 0.03

Facility Use (including losses) 0.70

Fig. 20-1 Typical Annual Electricity Flow (in Quadrillion Btu) in the United States. Source: EIA/DoE

The past half century witnessed a profound growth in electricity use. During the 1940s and 1950s, a unified electric grid reached the far corners of the nation, while electricity costs continually declined. But, during the mid-1970s, the high cost of building new large centralized power plants and the continuing growth of peak demand produced substantial increases in the price of electricity.

Although electricity costs today vary widely across the country, rates have stabilized as a result of utility interactivity on a unified electric grid, price structures designed to direct the market away from peak usage and toward conservation, integrated resource planning (IRP) activities, and the electricity consumers, as well as on electric utilities and various types of non-utility power producers. The NUG sector has evolved considerably over the past two decades as evolving legislation and regulation have infused competition into the electric industry. Whereas once electric utilities had nearly exclusive rights to generate and sell electricity as a sole-source provider, the long-term trend is toward utilities only having such rights over the transmission and distribution (T&D) of electricity — while becoming only one of numerous competitors in the area of power generation and sale. Still electricity prices have not plummeted to levels predicted by some, as stranded investment and recovery of other such costs have found their way into transmission and distribution pricing and as retail wheeling has not yet taken hold in the market.

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