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What Is Powerburn?
Powerburn is natural gas burned for the purpose of electricity generation. During the summer months, it is the leading single component of daily natural gas demand. One of its main uses from an analytical standpoint is a metric for the competitiveness of natural gas versus other fuels. This makes powerburn less temperature-dependent than other elements of natural gas demand and it serves as a useful proxy for the looseness/tightness of the gas market.

Intraday Powerburn

Departure Of Intraday Powerburn From 30-Day Average By ISO Region
The 7 US Independent System Operators (ISO) are tracked--
CAISO, SPP, MISO, ERCOT, PJM, NYISO, and NEISO--as well as the Northwest's BPA. ISOs are a collective of regional electrical grids that release public data on their ouput. See more on ISOs HERE. Grayed out regions on the map below represent areas not served by these ISOs for which official data is not available.

Natural gas powerburn is determined by total US electricity demand and the percentage of this demand that is met by natural gas versus other fuels such as coal, nuclear, wind, etc.

Powerburn = Total Electricity Generation x % Of Generation Met By Natural Gas x μ
where μ = Constants & Coefficients

US electricity demand is determined by time of day (demand is higher during the day time when lights and appliances are on) and temperature (very hot or cold temperatures--the former more than the latter--boost demand).

The percentage of demand met by natural gas is determined by the price of natural gas versus competitor fuels, primarily coal. When natural gas is expensive relative to its competitors, fuel switching occurs and powerburn declines. There is also a contribution from the weather with displacement from renewables such as solar, hydroelectric, and wind dictated by the availability of these resources.

Both nationwide electricity demand and the percentage supplied by natural gas are shown in the figures below. All intraday data below is updated hourly while daily data is updated around 1 AM EDT

Natural Gas As A % Of US Electricity Generation

U.S. Utility Electricity Generation By Fuel Type

Percent Natural Gas Consumption By ISO Region

Current US Utility Electricity Generation

Daily Powerburn, US Electricity & Natural Gas Generation

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