January 08, 2012
Electric Power In United States Flows South

The US Energy Information Administration web site has recently had a make-over which I'm exploring. Check out the main page for electricity. Their scrolling list of charts shows some charts of interest. One of the more interesting charts for energy geeks: Electricity tends to flow south in North America.

map of Annual power flows among regions in North America, 2010, as described in the article text

NIMBY California imports 25% of its (expensive) electricity.

One reason for these flows: Cheap hydro's mostly in the north and southern states will pay for importing it.

The map above shows that electricity tends to flow south in North America. The numbers on the map reflect average net power flows—metered hourly—between electric systems aggregated by regions for the year 2010. Most electric power demand is served by local generators. Net interregional trade accounted for less than 1% of delivered power in 2010. However, excess, low-cost power—primarily from hydroelectric generators in the Pacific Northwest, Manitoba, and Quebec—supplied higher-cost markets to the south.

Another page worth a look: ranges of wholesale electric prices by region. The northeast and Texas have very large swings in whole electric power prices. Also, New England, California, and Alaska have the highest electric power prices. California's prices will rise much higher to meet the state legislated requirement to get 33% of electric power from renewables by 2020.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2012 January 08 09:13 PM  Energy Electric Generators

anonyq said at January 9, 2012 3:56 PM:

It is not NIMBY-ism why California imports so much electricity. It is just cheaper and more efficient to burn the coal and transport the electricity over the rockies than it is to transport the coal over the rockies and then burn them. And hydro, which the border states of California have ample, is ideal for peaking and as such is often exported

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