The Southeast is home to some of the largest and fastest-growing electricity markets on the East Coast.
High Per-Capita Usage
Southeastern states use much more electricity per person than other east coast states, As an example, both Georgia and North Carolina use almost the same amount of electricity per year as the state of New York, despite having about half the population. There are a number of reasons for this higher usage. The warmer climate means there is heavy use of air conditioners in the Summer. The region has attractive electricity rates which attracts large, energy-intensive industrial users. Also, the warmer winter weather makes electric heat pumps more economical for home heating.
Large and Growing Populations
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, the five southeastern coastal states have five of the six fastest growing popultations on the East Coast. (Delaware rounds out the top six)
When you combine high per-capita consumption with large and fast-growing populations, that results in the Southeast being home to very large electricity markets that are likely to see higher rates of demand growth than other East Coast regions. Ultimately, that means that the Southeast region may be better positioned to accomodate larger-scale and longer-term development of wind energy, which helps to further reduce cost of deployment.
To summarize, the Southeast has:
- 5 of the 6 largest electricity markets on the East Coast.
- 62% of the total East Coast electricity demand.
- 5 of the 6 fastest growing populations on the East Coast.
- An ability to accomodate larger-scale, longer-term development of new energy sources