This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 19, 2003

EIA Report Examines Troubled Electric Industry in 2001

DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its annual look at the electric power industry on March 12th. The report notes that electric industry restructuring slowed considerably in 2001, and the financial problems of California's utilities, as well as the collapse of the Enron Corporation, placed the industry in a state of flux that will continue for the foreseeable future. Although total net generation of electricity decreased slightly from 2000 to 2001-likely due to the economic slowdown-the total net summer generating capacity increased by about 36.5 gigawatts, or 4.5 percent. Most of the increase in capacity was provided by power plants fueled with natural gas; nearly 30 gigawatts of new gas-fired plant capacity was added in 2001.

The EIA estimates that utility demand-side management programs, which help customers reduce their electrical demand, achieved nearly 25 gigawatts of peak demand reductions in 2001. Although the number represents a 9 percent increase above 2002 demand reductions, the overall trend for demand reductions has been dropping since 1996, when utilities achieved a peak demand reduction of nearly 30 gigawatts. See the EIA's "Electric Power Annual 2001".