Electricity Generation in North Carolina: Explaining the Trends

NC State belltower on a sunny day
Harrison Fell
Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Total electricity generation has remained flat in the United States for the past dozen or so years. But the way we as a nation generate electricity has changed dramatically. North Carolina is no exception to trends in changing electricity generation profiles. Like many other regions in the U.S., North Carolina’s electricity sector has experienced rapid decline in coal-fired generation and a concurrent increase in generation from natural gas-fired power plants and from renewable energy sources, particularly solar photovoltaics (PV).

In the Winter Issue of The NC State Economist, Harrison Fell, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, discusses the market forces and policies that are driving these rapid changes in electricity generation. He also discusses how some recent developments, namely the passing of state energy bill HB 589 and the possible construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, may affect North Carolina’s energy future.

Topics include:

  • North Carolina’s electricity generation mix
  • North Carolina’s high level of installed solar capacity
  • Looking at natural gas
  • Moving forward

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