Short, timely articles with graphics on energy facts, issues, and trends.
More than half of utility-scale solar photovoltaic systems track the sun through the day
The electricity generated by a solar photovoltaic (PV) system depends on the orientation and tilt of the PV panels, and in some cases, its ability to track the sun throughout the day. Because photovoltaic panels operate more efficiently when oriented directly at the sun, some systems use solar-tracking technology to increase electricity generation by rotating the panels along one or two axes.
Natural gas inventories end heating season above five-year average
Working natural gas in storage as of March 31, the traditional end of the heating season, totaled 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), or almost 15% above the five-year average according to EIA's "Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report". The total inventory of U.S. natural gas in storage tends to follow seasonal patterns of injections through the summer and withdrawals during the winter.
Natural gas generators make up the largest share of overall U.S. generation capacity
In 2016, natural gas-fired generators accounted for 42% of the operating electricity generating capacity in the United States. Natural gas provided 34% of total electricity generation in 2016, surpassing coal to become the leading generation source.
The API gravity of crude oil produced in the U.S. varies widely across states
API gravity is one of the key characteristics of crude oil that, along with other characteristics such as sulfur content, is used by refiners when evaluating different crude streams for processing into petroleum products. In 2016, the majority (51%) of the 8.4 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil produced in the Lower 48 states was light oil, or less dense oil with an API gravity of 40.1 or above.
EIA expects natural gas to be largest source of U.S. electricity generation this summer
EIA's April 2017 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects that electricity generation fueled by natural gas during the summer months of June, July, and August will be lower than last summer, but it will continue to exceed that of any other fuel, including coal-fired generation, for the third summer in a row.