I would like to confirm that I am on the right track here with respect to electricity generation and consumption.

Given that in 2016 the total United States consumption of electricity was 4,137,100 gigawatt-hours (GWh).

Given that in 2016 the total installed electricity generation summer capacity (peak capacity) in the United States was 1,074.3 gigawatts.

Given that there are 8760 hours in a year.

Dividing consumption by hours ( 4,137,100 / 8760) results in 472.27 gigawatts.

472 gigawatts is about 44 percent of peak generation capacity.

So can I assume that the average utilization of our peak electricity production capacity over the course of a year is approximately 44 percent.

Thanks in advance

  • \$\begingroup\$ I use about a 1GW /mo but then I consume about twice my average neighbour and 4x the most efficient one according to my energy supplier who supplies hourly, daily, monthly charts on the web. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14 '19 at 7:30

The average utilization as a percentage of peak capacity is 44% as you have calculated. However, the peak capacity varies. If you would calculate the average utilization as a percentage of the average capacity that might be more meaningful. You could also calculate the average monthly and then average the monthly percentage values.


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