Electricity generation reaches highest level since the 2008 recession

Adapted from U.S. Energy Information Administration via Danish Embassy; Note: Figures reflect previous 12 months; Chart: Axios Visuals

America’s electricity generation reached the highest level since before the economic recession, just-released government data shows.

Why it matters: Electricity generation in the U.S. has been largely stagnant for a decade, fueled by a slow-growing economy after the 2008 financial crash and the resulting lackluster electricity demand. That’s starting to change, recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows.

“We learned to do less with less during the Great Recession, then we learned to do more with less in the low-energy recovery that followed. Now it looks like America is doing more with more.”
— Kevin Book, managing director, ClearView Energy Partners

Yes, but: Chris Cassar, an electricity expert at the EIA, notes that weather may be at play too. He said this summer was a lot warmer than last year’s, which would have increased the need for electricity generation. “It is very hard to completely separate weather from the economic factors affecting the change in electricity generation.”

One level deeper: Growing electricity generation is good news for all producers and generators of electricity, which have for the last year been battling it out for a piece of the mostly stagnant market as President Trump seeks to boost financially struggling coal and nuclear power plants. I call this the Hunger Games of electricity, in a Harder Line column of mine from last year.