GEOG 469
Energy Industry Applications of GIS



Demand for electricity is expected to grow dramatically over the next 20-30 years. With that expected increase in demand comes the need for the expansion of existing electric transmission lines and corridors, and for new transmission lines. These expansions and additions require detailed planning, siting, and public participation before actual line construction can begin. Some estimates suggest that investment in new generation, transmission, and distribution could be anywhere from $1.5 to $2 trillion by 2030. Much of this cost will be associated with upgrading the existing electric transmission system, adding new transmission lines to serve our growing appetite for electricity, and bringing alternative energy, such as wind and solar, from its origin to the consumer. The siting of new transmission lines is the critical first step in the successful deployment of these transmission systems.

How does this investment transfer to the cost we pay for electricity? A review of the Department of Energy website shows projections for energy use and consumption between 2015 and 2050. Between 2015 and 2050, the total electric use in the United States will increase from 3.871.9 Bkwh (Billion kilowatt-hours)  in 2015 to a projected 5.232.8 Bkwh in 2050, or an increase of 35.1% increase projected over this period. The 

The average residential cost/kwh will go from 12.8 cents/kwh in 2017 to 17.3 cents/kwh in 2035.

Check this out!

Take time to explore this data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration site linked below. It has valuable information on energy generation, demand, and use. Check out the US Energy Mapping System by selecting "Geography" from the top ribbon menu, then selecting "US Energy Mapping" under "Highlights". Select "Find Address" located in the upper right corner of the map. Type in your address and select "LOCATE". The map will zoom into your address. On the left side of the map, zoom out a little to give you a bigger area to investigate. Now select "Legends and Layers" from the upper right map menu. Explore the various energy characteristics of your area by checking/unchecking menu items. Click on the icons on the map to see details about specific power plants.